SkyCity Entertainment announces annual results tomorrow after weekend promotions marking the 13th birthday for the tower that dominates the Auckland skyline.

The firm is expected to confirm a growth spurt of more than 10 per cent in profits - a sturdy enough result given the global downturn and flat trading.

SkyCity has won publicity from expansion of its entertainment venues in Federal St and hopes to build a big conference centre in Hobson St.

But investors tomorrow will likely be less interested in the lower margin hotel and conference business and more interested in how chief executive Nigel Morrison is going to improve gaming returns, especially in Auckland.

"Growth is coming from lower interest costs due to equity raising," said Rob Bode, an analyst at sharebrokers First NZ Capital.

"Lowered gearing is the prudent thing to do and they are in a very strong position - but the key now is to know their plans for Adelaide and Auckland properties."

Morrison took over SkyCity two years ago after a period when the company drifted because of management upheavals. At the time investors had expressed concern it was underperforming.

Bode said he saw modest growth from the non-gaming area. He noted that while SkyCity would benefit from the tourism influx for the Rugby World Cup, it would be for only three to six weeks.

Sharemarket commentator Arthur Lim said Morrison had made his main impact last year improving performance. The big driver has been SkyCity raising $235 million, and from selling cinemas.

"Expectations are that results tomorrow will show Australian casinos [in Adelaide and Darwin] have held up and New Zealand struggling along. The question is: Where to from here?" he said.

Forsyth Barr analyst Jeremy Simpson expected modest gains in Australia offsetting gaming softness at Auckland.

In a result preview last week, he said: "Despite a number of management initiatives to increase activity, 2H10 has been patchy at Auckland with stronger months following weaker months, consistent with other consumer-facing businesses in New Zealand.

"Darwin's 2H10 performance will be well down on 2H09 and 1H10 as the already softer seasonal 1H period has been adversely impacted by smoking bans from January 1, 2010, and a longer wet season than usual.

"We expect any outlook comments are likely to be relatively subdued given the uncertainties in the New Zealand and Australian economies."

SkyCity shares closed down 2c at $2.99 on Friday.