The West

Crown s profit slides 34pc

James Packer's casino operator Crown has posted a 34 per cent drop in first half profit, as weak consumer sentiment and refurbishment work affected its business.

Crown made a net profit of $180.8 million in the six months to December 31, down from $274.4 million in the previous corresponding period.

The result included a $74.3 million loss on Crown's investment in Sydney and Queensland casino operator Echo Entertainment.

Crown operates casinos in Perth and Melbourne, and holds an interest in Melco Crown in Macau.

Chief executive Rowen Craigie said the result for the first half of the 2012/13 financial year was reasonable.

"Revenue growth reflects the benefits of recent property refurbishments, particularly the expansion of the main gaming floor in Perth," he said in a statement.

"However, both properties were also impacted by disruption to patron activity arising from the capital works program and weak consumer sentiment, especially in Melbourne."

"Cost control continues to be a focus at both properties."

More to come…

The West Australian

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