Crown's focus squarely on Australia, says James Packer

Crown's focus squarely on Australia, says James Packer - 26th September 2013

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GLOBAL casinos operator Crown says it is working to improve the quality of its Australian resorts, while also keeping a close eye on costs.

Crown has been upgrading its Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth casinos to make them more competitive with new casinos and resorts in Asia.

"In the year ahead, we will be focusing on the performance of our Australian resorts, including a continued focus on cost control,'' chairman James Packer said in the company's annual report released today.

"My vision for Crown sees us as a leading global luxury brand, with a clear focus on Asian tourism.''

Crown is also working on a proposed luxury hotel and VIP-only casino at Barangaroo on Sydney harbour, and Mr Packer said the company would continue to work with the NSW government to bring that project to fruition.

Crown's $396 million profit in the 2012/13 financial year was down 23 per cent from the previous year, and its Australian businesses posted mixed results due to weak consumer sentiment.

The annual report shows chief executive Rowen Craigie's earnings in the year dropped by 27 per cent to $4.99 million, due mainly to lower incentives as performance targets were only partly met.

Mr Craigie said in the report that the company was undertaking a "comprehensive review of back of house and front of house operational efficiency'' to ensure the Australian resorts reach their potential.

Mr Packer is paid by the Macau joint venture casino operation called Melco Crown Entertainment, and therefore no details of his pay are provided by Crown.

The total pay for all of Crown's senior executives was lower in 2012/13 due to fewer short term benefits and long term incentives.

The company's shareholders will next month vote on a proposed name change for the company, to Crown Resorts.

The new moniker will reflect the large investment in tourism infrastructure that the company has recently made and expects to maintain, Mr Packer said.