While much of the attention at Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN) has surrounded the findings of the NSW Bergin Inquiry. And two Royal Commissions that are ongoing in VIC and WA, results released today show how dire the impact of lockdowns has been on the embattled casino operator.
Reopening Of Crown Perth
Crown’s chief financial officer Alan McGregor says the group’s full-year results reflect the severe impact on operations from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, McGregor says that Crown Melbourne’s casino gaming operations were closed for a large part of the financial year. And, when open, gaming facilities were subject to ongoing operating restrictions.
Crown Perth delivers a strong performance during the financial year. Crown Perth re-opened with restrictions towards the end of June 2020. And remained open for the entirety of the first half, trading above expectations.
Crown Perth faces several short-term closures throughout the second half. And whilst trading performance has rebounded quickly following each shutdown, overall performance moderated throughout the year. Moreover, McGregor notes that Crown Sydney delivers an overall operating loss for the financial year. Given the impact of COVID-19 related restrictions, border closures and, the limited scale of operations.
Good Sales In Crown Sydney Apartment
They are continuing to see good momentum in Crown Sydney apartment sales, with over $1 billion in gross sales and pre-sale commitments achieved to date, representing approximately 80 per cent of the apartments by number.
In addition, settlement of the apartment sales commenced in April 2021, with approximately $650 million. In proceeds received during the period allowing Crown to reduce outstanding debt and fully repay the $450 million project finance facility before the year-end. He emphasizes pandemic-related restrictions continue to affect performance in the current financial year.
Furthermore, Crown Melbourne has close for the majority of this financial year, whilst staying at home orders are imposed in Sydney on 26 June 2021 and remain in place. Crown Perth recommences operations on 6 July 2021 following a short-term closure towards the end of June 2021. And is transitioning gaming and non-gaming activities to pre-lockdown conditions following the staged removal of remaining restrictions.
Dr. Switkowski Joins Crown Resort
Interim chairman Jane Halton has thanked her predecessor Helen Coonan for stepping up and providing leadership. And stability during a period of intense regulatory scrutiny and unprecedented impacts on business operations due to COVID-19. Jane Halton says that Helen has played an important role at Crown over a long period. And particularly since her appointment as executive chairman where she has made a major contribution to Crown’s reform program.
Apart from that, Dr Ziggy Switkowski will join the board as chairman following receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals as part of the planning succession process. In addition, the board welcomes Dr. Switkowski to Crown. And she says that confident he has the necessary capability and experience to lead the board at what is a critical time for the organization. Moreover, under the new leadership of their significantly renewed board and senior management team, Crown is well placed to continue the momentum of change. As they implement the reforms contained within their comprehensive Remediation Plan.
Working Hard Of The Company To Earn Trust Of Regulators
In addition, Halton says the company will work hard to earn the continued trust of regulators. And communities as responsible operators of outstanding quality integrated resorts. Moreover, they believe the successful implementation of this Remediation Plan will position Crown. As an industry leader in our approach to governance, compliance, responsible gaming and, the management of risk. Furthermore, in particular, the risk of financial crime underpinned by an uplifted organizational culture
Looking ahead, COVID-19 continues to create uncertainty, with variable operating restrictions remaining a feature of everyday life. And likely to continue to materially influence business performance. In addition, Notwithstanding the current challenges facing the business, they remain optimistic and believe that Crown has a truly special portfolio of assets. Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth are world-class entertainment precincts and they are excited about the prospects for Crown Sydney.
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