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Digital revenues lift Crown results

| By iGB Editorial Team
Australia’s biggest casino operator posts better-than-expected annual results

Australia’s biggest casino operator, Crown Resorts, has posted a better-than-expected annual profit, with a surge in digital revenues contributing towards the results.

Normalised net profit, adjusted to remove extraneous items, increased by 12.7% to Aus$386.8m (£223m/€248m/$287m) – higher than analysts’ expectations of about $366m.

Earnings before tax and deductions from Crown’s wagering and online social gaming operations was $26.9m, up 81.8% on the prior comparable period (pcp).

The results included CrownBet’s consolidated result from through to February 28, when Crown completed the sale of its 62% shareholding in CrownBet.

Crown’s wagering and online social gaming operation now comprises Betfair Australasia, a 100%-owned online betting exchange, and online social gaming business DGN Games, in which Crown increased its stake from 70% to 85% over the course of the year.

CrownBet, in which Crown no longer has a stake, will change its name in the coming weeks, it was revealed last month.

The Stars Group increased its majority stake in CrownBet shortly after the latter agreed a deal to buy William Hill’s Australian business. CrownBet finalised its acquisition of William Hill Australia in April. The aggregate price for both transactions was $315m (£240m/€269m).

Focusing on Crown’s land-based operations, executive chairman John Alexander said: “Crown’s full-year result reflects a solid performance from our Melbourne operation and continued subdued trading in Perth.

“Main floor gaming revenue increased by 1.5%, with modest growth in Melbourne offset by softness in Perth. VIP programme play turnover in Australia of $51.5bn (up 54.5%) was a pleasing outcome, particularly at Crown Melbourne (up 73.9%), given the difficult trading conditions in the pcp.”

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