Australians are breathing a sigh of relief after Cyclone Yasi appears to have caused less damage than initially expected. The category five storm, described as being “the size of Italy,” managed to miss the most heavily populated areas when it came ashore in Queensland around midnight. Although the cyclone felled trees and ripped roofs off buildings, no deaths have yet been reported, unlike the massive flooding earlier this month that killed dozens of people.
Compared to actual loss of life, monetary losses may seem insignificant, but those floods reportedly cost Aussie gambling outfit Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. some $10m in revenue. Races had to be abandoned in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, while the company’s Treasury casino and hotel in Brisbane saw a sharp drop off in visitors during the affected period. Nevertheless, CEO Elmer Funke Kupper reported a 2.9% boost in H1 profits over the previous year. For the period ending Dec. 31, 2010, revenue was $2.26b, up 3.5% over the previous year, and Kupper expects to see “positive underlying growth in the second half of the year.” Tabcorp shares rose 3.19% on the news.
In other Tabcorp news, a District Court has ordered the company to pay a former secretary $240k in personal injury damages. Kathryn Jane Dank injured her back in 2004 attempting to lift a 28 lb. box of photocopy paper. Dank bravely tried to carry on her work as normal, but the pain from the prolapse disc injury she incurred lifting the box caused her to resign five months later. In announcing his decision, Judge Clive Wall found Tabcorp liable for failing to instruct Dank not to lift heavy things and for not storing boxes at ‘knuckle height.’ Dank was also awarded court costs.