(Corrects Thomson Reuters data forecast details in 1st, 3rd and
4th pars, putting earnings just shy of expectations)
SYDNEY Aug 22 Australia's Echo Entertainment
Group Ltd posted a strong jump in full-year net profit
on strong earnings at its flagship Sydney casino, falling just
shy of analysts' forecasts.
Echo, which will lose its exclusive gaming licence in Sydney
in late 2019 to larger rival Crown Ltd, said it was
having productive discussions with the Queensland government
about its proposal to relocate and expand its casino in
The company said net profit to the end of June rose A$83.5
million ($75.31 million), compared with A$42.2 million the
previous year, helped by strong revenue growth in Sydney.
Underlying net profit fell 15.5 percent to A$126.9 million,
just shy of analysts' forecasts of A$130.75 million, according
to Thomson Reuters data.
Earnings were constrained by higher operating expenses in
Sydney and disappointing earnings at gaming venues in Queensland
Echo will lose its exclusive gaming licence in Sydney from
the end of 2019 under a state government ruling last month that
granted rival Crown Ltd conditional approval for a VIP
gaming room at its luxury hotel development in the city.
The competition between the pair has now shifted to
Brisbane, where Echo has proposed a A$1 billion-plus
redevelopment of its Treasury Casino that would include a new
six-star hotel. Crown, meanwhile, is drawing up plans to build a
new A$1.5 billion casino, hotel and retail complex in the north
(= 1.1087 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Jane Wardell; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Stephen