Crown registers "reasonable" 1H result
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Nicholas Grove is a Morningstar journalist.
Billionaire James Packer's Crown Limited (CWN) on Friday announced a 15.1 per cent rise in normalised half-year net profit - which strips out any variance from the theoretical win rate on VIP program play and other significant items - to $243.5 million.
Reported net profit before significant items fell 15.2 per cent to $232.8 million for the six months ended 31 December 2012, the casino operator said.
Including a $52-million mark-to-market loss on Crown's investment in Echo Entertainment (EGP), reported net profit after significant items fell 34.1 per cent year-on-year to $180.8 million.
Normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 10.5 per cent to $400.3 million, Crown said.
The company announced an interim dividend of 18 cents a share, 50 per cent franked, and payable on 16 April 2013 to shareholders on the register at 28 March 2013.
Operating cash flow for the period was $165.4 million, Crown said, while total group debt was $1.9 billion as at 31 December 2012.
Crown chief executive Rowen Craigie described the overall results for the company's wholly-owned Australian casinos, Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth, as "reasonable".
"Revenue growth reflects the benefits of recent property refurbishments, particularly the expansion of the main gaming floor in Perth," Craigie said in a statement.
"However, both properties were also impacted by disruption to patron activity arising from the capital works program and weak consumer sentiment, especially in Melbourne. Cost control continues to be a focus at both properties."
Craigie said the results from the company's 33.7 per cent-owned Melco Crown Entertainment joint venture in Macau were strong and were a major contributor to the growth in normalised net profit.