James Packer quits as Crown Resorts chair

James Packer.

James Packer is standing down as chair of his casino group, Crown Resorts, and will be replaced by Robert Rankin.

Packer will remain on as a senior executive director on terms which are currently being discussed with the board, Crown said.

Packer will also remain co-chairman of both Melco Crown Entertainment and the Alon Resort project in Las Vegas.

“Crown remains my number one business priority and passion. I am extremely proud of the company and look forward to continuing our efforts to build a global luxury brand. Crown has a pipeline of resorts globally and this is where the majority of my time will be spent. Rob Rankin has my complete trust and respect as an executive and he will do an outstanding job as Chairman. Given our global growth and aspirations, this is the right time for the company to make this change. I look forward to working closely with him,” Packer said.

The billionaire casino mogul said he would remain committed to building the hotel at Barangaroo in Sydney.

“Crown Sydney is a globally iconic project that will attract hundreds of thousands of tourists to Australia, create jobs, taxes and new revenue for the people of New South Wales. Crown Sydney will be something truly special for the people of Sydney and Australia. No project is more important to me.”

The company released its full-year results this morning.

In the year to June 30, Crown posted a statutory profit of $385.05 million, 41.3% down on the previous year.

The company declared a final dividend of 19 cents for a total full year dividend of 37 cents.

Crown CEO Rowen Craigie says results were mixed.

In Melbourne, earnings were up 17.8% but Crown Perth’s were only 5.3% higher. Main floor gaming revenue increased by 6.9% at Crown Melbourne but only 2.6% in Perth.

Weak market conditions in Macau dragged down Crown’s share of profit by 57.6% to $122.0 million.

Crown shares were down in early trade on the ASX by more than 4% to $12.94.

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