Nova Gorica, 14 June (STA) - Slovenia's biggest casino operator, the Nova Gorica-based HIT group, generated EUR 48.8m in revenues and made a pre-tax profit of EUR 1.2m in the first quarter of 2011. The profit exceeds expectations at the group, which expected to make a loss of EUR 700,000 in this period.
The company's cost were lower than expected, amounting to EUR 47.2m, HIT CEO Drago Podobnik told the press on Tuesday.
Moreover, the company paid slightly more gaming taxes than planned, at EUR 14.6m.
Touching on the main challenges faced by the company, Podobnik pointed to increasing competition from Italy (which constitutes the biggest market for the group), where casinos have installed 20,000 new slot machines this year alone and are planning 38,000 more by the end of 2012.
Podobnik is however convinced that HIT could attract guests with fresh offerings, therefore, the company will renew two of its hotels and install new equipment.
HIT is not planning any additional layoffs this year, after 300 workers were laid off in 2010 due to a drop in the number of visitors, which was down 5% to 1.3 million (10% less than planned).
HIT is expecting to attract more guests by introducing open-air casinos in Nova Gorica and Kranjska Gora, which will enable guests to smoke during gaming.