Crown Resorts focus on land-based operations despite digital driven growth

IGT 168 COMPANIES CROWN
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Crown Resorts has reported net profit for FY17/18 exceeded expectations, rising 12.7 percent to $287m, $20m above analyst predictions.

An 81.8 percent increase in digital revenue, driven by recent acquisitions Betfair Australia and DGN Games, led the revenue increase, with land-based operations posting shallower growth.

“Main floor gaming revenue increased by 1.5 percent, with modest growth in Melbourne offset by softness in Perth,” said executive chairman John Alexander.

The period included results from the sale of Crown’s 62 percent stake in CrownBet this February, which though raising $109m, drove the firm’s focus further away from its profitable digital arm.

In the recent financial report, CFO Ken Barton directed attention solely to Crown’s land-based operations, stating VIP business had become “stronger and more sustainable.”

VIP programme play turnover at Crown Melbourne rose 73.9 percent year on year, with overall VIP revenue rising 54.5 percent to $37bn.

However, Barton added that the high rate was a result of low win levels, and a relatively small concentration of players delivered by third-party junket operators after Crown reduced its Asian direct sales team.

“We don’t want people to look at that kind of growth in VIP and think that is something that should be extrapolated out in the future.”

Barton’s cautionary statement was supported by a 5.8 percent decrease in VIP revenue at Crown Perth, part of a 1.7 percent fall in total venue revenue, which Barton ascribed to the city’s “retail economy that is still under a lot of pressure.”

“We are essentially in the hospitality and entertainment business and there’s been a lot of pressure on inbound [tourists] in recent years.”

Overall, statutory profit fell 68.6 percent over FY17/18 to $419m, however Crown’s last year result included $878m gained from the sale of Macau-based casino operator Melco Crown.


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