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Crown profit soars 53 per cent

Crown profit soars 53 per cent

Fri August 10, 2012 5:09pm

CASINO operator Crown's full-year profit grew by 53 per cent as revenue from its Australian operations increased on the previous year.

But, Crown said today, gaming revenue growth slowed in the second half of the 2011/12 financial year, in general gaming and also high rollers.

Crown's net profit for the year to June 30 of $513.3 million was up from $335.9 million in the previous year.

Revenue in the year to June of $2.8 billion was an increase of 17 per cent from $2.4 billion in the previous year.

Chief executive Rowen Craigie described the results for Crown in Melbourne and Perth's Burswood casino as mixed.

"During the year, we saw reasonable revenue growth at both properties, although in some areas this was offset by higher operating costs," he said in a statement.

"At Crown Melbourne, in particular, we saw a softening of activity in some segments of main floor gaming and non-gaming operations in the second half of the year, as well as the effects of refurbishment disruption on operating margins."

"We continued to see some evidence of weak consumer sentiment, which has affected some segments of the business, particularly in the second half, while the premium markets maintained their strength."

Revenue from VIP gaming grew but at a lower margin due to higher super tax at Crown Melbourne and increased competition from Asia, Mr Craigie said.

"Our strategy to source new customers from China also continues, as we seek to offset the ongoing impact of the Singapore integrated resorts on our VIP business," he said.

A main contributor to the company's net profit growth was its joint venture in Macau, the Melco Entertainment Group, Mr Craigie said.

Melco delivered a $135.8 million profit to Crown in the year to June.

Crown Melbourne's profit of $564.2 million was an increase of 10 per cent from the previous year, while Burswood's profit of $270.9 million was up 54 per cent.

Crown declared a final dividend of 19 cents per share, 50 per cent franked, taking full year dividends to 37 cents.

Its shares were up 14 cents, or 1.6 per cent, at $8.67 at 10.29am AEST.

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