SYDNEY Feb 5 Australia's Echo Entertainment
Group Ltd posted a pick-up in half-year underlying net
profit, slightly ahead of analyst forecasts, as cost reduction
measures helped protect earnings in a still soft trading market.
Echo also said its managing director and chief executive
officer, John Redmond, would leave the company in the second
half and be replaced by Matt Bekier, the chief financial officer
and executive director.
Echo, which will lose its exclusive gaming licence in Sydney
in late 2019 when larger rival Crown Resorts Ltd opens
a high roller facility, said the first half continued to be
challenging with soft consumer sentiment across major markets.
Underlying net six months to the end of December, excluding
significant items, rose 1.3 percent to A$71.5 million ($63.60
million), compared with five analysts' forecasts of A$65.9
million, according to Reuters calculations.
The company said net profit in the period was A$46.1
million, compared with A$66.5 million the previous year,
impacted by a lower win rate in its VIP business and one-off
expenses from restructuring and interest rate swaps.
($1 = 1.1242 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang)