Jackie Chan factor looms large in profit forecast as performance dives 79.6pc Emperor Entertainment Hotel plans to soft-launch its 45 per cent owned Macau hotel-casino in September and expects to make its money back in three years with the help of actor Jackie Chan, who has a stake in the project. The upbeat prediction from the gaming flagship of Emperor International came as the company announced full-year results to March 31 that showed net profit had fallen 79.6 per cent from a year earlier to $17.59 million on turnover of $18.23 million. Earnings per share was 5 cents. The company declared no dividend. 'We will start paying a dividend next year with a payout ratio of not less than 50 per cent,' said managing director Vanessa Fan Man-seung. This would be possible because '2005 marked an important milestone for the group's development as it had been repositioned as a gaming and entertainment platform' guaranteeing a strong cash flow. Ms Fan said the group was under no financial pressure to raise funds and the 50 per cent payout ratio should be sustainable over the years. These were the company's first results since the completion of the $132.6 million acquisition of the Golden Princess gaming vessel in February. Ms Fan said the ship had made a group contribution immediately with a net profit of $6.2 million in just six weeks through the leasing of its casino area at a monthly rent of $9 million. The Macau hotel-casino project - the Emperor Casino Hotel - is also 20 per cent owned by Stanley Ho Hung-sun's Sociedade de Jogos se Macau (SJM), which also provides the gaming licence. Mr Chan has a 5 per cent stake in the project. The hotel will have a soft launch in September and the full launch in December. Ms Fan expects a return on the company's $450 million investment in the $1.5 billion project in 2008 and predicts that the occupancy rate in the first year will reach 90 per cent with the help of Mr Chan's reputation. 'Our Macau hotel-casino will target big spenders from mainland China,' Ms Fan said. 'We would like to become the second most-popular hotel in Macau after Hotel Lisboa, which is the biggest.' The hotel has 300 rooms and is expected to charge an average room rate of $800 per night. 'We will have 65 gaming tables operated by SJM and the company will get a 40 per cent share of profits from SJM,' she said. The company has leased out the night club and sauna facilities and expects to generate about $14 million in annual rental income. Emperor Entertainment Hotel also has a joint venture agreement with Shenzhen Lianhe Jinhoa Investment Development to develop Emperor Star City in the Yu Yuan district of Shanghai. The six-storey shopping arcade and entertainment complex with a gross floor area of 114,000 square metres broke ground last month and is due to open in 2007.