Crown Limited released its annual report earlier today showing that net profit was up 14.9% on the previous year. The figure was $335.9million as the firm reported that their Asian joint venture, Melco Crown Entertainment (MCE), was a “major contributor to the growth,” as their 33.4% continued to bear considerable fruit.
That’s not to say that Asia is their BFFF. Not at all. Their Australian properties continued to feel the pinch thanks one South East Asian territory, with CEO Rowen Craigie stating, “Both Crown Melbourne and Burswood continued to feel the impact of competition from the two Singapore integrated resorts.” He also added this has a lot to do with the loss of VIP casino business to the two Singapore resorts.
Looking further into their finances, revenues for the entire group showed an incremental increase from $2.342bn last year to $2.409bn. Stakeholders are probably thinking how different it might have looked without the MCE figures. In terms of an online presence, Crown’s only real action in this area comes in the shape of their stake in Betfair Australia. To that end their equity accounted share of Betfair’s loss was $2.5m, and was “primarily due to an increase in legal fees and product fees.”
Planned expansion into the UK market has received a blow with the news that their trademark application has been disputed. eGR reports that the Crown Casino brand has abandoned plans to enter the UK online market after Crown Bingo successfully challenged the trademark application. Crown Bingo operations director Ian Erskine told eGR, “We have spent many millions on building the Crown brand in UK, and we don’t see why Crown Casino should benefit from that. Practically no-one in the UK has heard of Crown Casino, unless they have been to the casino in Melbourne.”
The brand may still launch offline meaning that Crown Bingo’s challenge isn’t over yet. Crown Limited’s joint venture that is entitled Aspers Casinos is opening a fourth venue in the UK by the end of this year and it remains to be seen what they’d use the offline brand for.