Driven by impressive growth at its casinos in Georgia and Armenia, Russian exile Storm International has reported year-on-year growth of 12 per cent in 2017 with net profit increasing by 14.8 per cent.
In 2017 the greatest growth markets for Storm International’s businesses were Shangri La Casino Tbilisi with growth measured at 21 per cent and Shangri La Yerevan with an astonishing increase in growth of 48 per cent. The reason for the growth of these two markets has been the increase of foreign customers who continue discovering Georgia and Armenia as attractive gaming destinations. In the last year the flight schedules have doubled from different countries to both Yerevan and Tbilisi.
In November 2017 Storm International opened its latest Shangri La casino in Riga, Latvia. The new casino is located in the very centre of the capital in the newly built Grand Hotel Kempinski.
Darren Keane, CEO of Storm International commented on the new opening: “We expect the Riga project to develop well due to the good reputation of our brand in the region and to be in the most luxurious hotel in Latvia will of course help.”
2017 also saw Storm make its first foray into the online market with its online casino PlayShangriLa.com. The company’s management strived to add an online component to its business for a few years and it took time to develop the concept and the product of the corresponding quality. The online Shangri La casino was opened in April 2017 and has designed to take advantage of Storm’s Shangri La branding.
“In 2017 our company continued to thrive even with increased taxation and extra competition that have appeared in some of our markets. Our casino management is our strength, that includes our human resources, our management systems, our loyalty programs and of course our famous brands,” Mr. Keane added.
The company had to rewrite its business plan when it was forced to shut five casinos and 25 gaming venues across its domestic market of Russia in 2009 following the introduction of a blanket ban on casinos.
Currently Storm International owns and operates properties in Germany, Byelorussia, Armenia, Georgia and Latvia, as well as its online casino.