Coronavirus and the International Convention Centre are two key issues for SkyCity Entertainment Group when it reports results on Thursday amid investor concern about the company's strong links with China.
Shane Solly of Harbour Asset Management said the investment community would be looking closely at how the business could be hurt due to a ban on Chinese travellers coming here.
"Key points include indications on the early impact of coronavirus on trading and potential ramifications over the next six to 12 months," Solly said of a business with a market capitalisation of $2.4 billion and which made $14.1b from international business last year.
New Zealand is one of a number of countries which has put a ban on travellers from mainland China in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
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While the ban is being reviewed every 48 hours, it is not clear when it will come to an end.
The latest data from China's National Health Commission report 40,171 infected cases and 908 deaths there.
Chinese gamblers are a huge source of revenue for SkyCity whose most profitable casino is Auckland although it is spending A$330m on its Adelaide casino and has properties in Hamilton and Queenstown.
Forsyth Barr said this week: "We expect low underlying growth with downside risk to outlook and FY20 guidance from lower Chinese inbound visitor numbers."
But Thursday's result would probably be complicated by some one-off sales including SkyCity's Darwin casino property as well as the long-term leasing or concessions of its Auckland CBD carparks, ForsythBarr said.
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Accounting implications from the NZ International Convention Centre fire were also predicted in the result.
ForsythBarr forecast low underlying ebitda growth, up just 1.5 per cent, and said: "We see downside risk to guidance and our forecasts, primarily due to lower Chinese visitation through the key Chinese New Year period."
But there may be an upside too.
"We expect growth for its New Zealand properties to outweigh weakness in International Business and higher corporate costs," ForsythBarr forecast.
SkyCity made $144m net profit after tax for the June 30, 2019 year, down on $169m for the June 30, 2018 year.
A SkyCity spokeswoman said she could make no comments about any issues before Thursday's announcement.
However, if the virus spread was material to the business, SkyCity would have been bound by NZX listing rules to make an announcement by now.
In the annual report for the year to June 30, 2019, SkyCity said the top 10 ethnicities staff identified with included Chinese, accounting for 16.5 per cent followed by New Zealander at 15.1 per cent, Indian at 11.3 per cent and Australian at 9.3 per cent.
Mandarin was in the top three non-English languages for staff.
SkyCity launched a "China-ready" initiative three years ago to find ways to improve Chinese customer experience at its properties, launching WeChat, WeChat Pay and Alipay, translating directional signage and creating a new role of business development manager China.
The company celebrated Chinese New Year from January 24 to 25 with a Federal St festival of cultural performances including lion dancing, taiko drumming and balloon artists.
SkyCity's share price has fallen hard in the last few weeks, from $4.08 on January 23 to $3.57 around the close of trading yesterday.
Two years ago, the company's profit was boosted by a rebound in its international business, following its renewed focus on its Chinese clients.
"I think there's a bit of a rising tide," Stephens said in August 2018. "More Chinese travelling, more in the casinos generally."
The company was more focused on catering to its Chinese clients in its dedicated international business and its hospitality and general casino operations. It was ramping up its use of Chinese language, as well the ability to use Chinese applications for translation and payment at its facilities, he said two years ago.
Solly said investors would also be looking for an update on the $703m NZ International Convention Centre and plans for its repairs after October's disastrous fire broke out.
Forsyth Barr said a key area of focus would be "other growth projects across the group including Auckland master plan, Hamilton hotel, Queenstown development which are reliant on third party decisions and/or investment".