James Packer’s Crown Resorts today posted a 7.5% fall in annual revenue to $3.34 billion, dragged down by fewer VIP players making big bets at Australian casinos.
Statutory net profit after tax was up 96.7% to $1.86 billion but this included $1.55 billion in one-off gains including the sale of shares in the group’s troubled Macau holdings.
Normalised profit was $343.1 million, down 15.5%.
Crown Resorts faces a number of issues, including a decline in VIP gamblers from China following a crackdown there which saw Crown staff arrested for allegedly spruiking gambling.
Packer this week returned to the board of directors to take a more hands-on approach to his 48.2% holding in the gaming business.
Executive chairman of Crown John Alexander says the full year results reflect difficult trading conditions.
Total normalised revenue across Crown’s Australian resorts fell by 12.7%.
“This decline was due primarily to the reduction in VIP program play revenue in Australia, which was down 48.9% on the prior comparable period,” he says.
“Gaming revenue also decreased by 1.4%, with Melbourne flat and softness in Perth.”
Crown declared a final dividend, franked to 60%, of 30 cents a share, down from 39.5 cents the year before.
The company also plans a further on-market share buy-back of up to 29.3 million shares. Crown completed a $500 million on-market share buy-back in June.