21/10/2021 - 10:33

Crown payouts irk shareholders, revenue plummets

21/10/2021 - 10:33

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Crown Resorts shareholders have flagged concerns about the embattled casino giant forking out millions for departing executives, as it reported revenue had plummeted 30 per cent.

Crown payouts irk shareholders, revenue plummets
Crown Resorts reported annual revenue of $1.5 billion for the 2021 financial year, down more than 30 per cent. Photo: David Henry

Crown Resorts shareholders have blasted the embattled casino giant for forking out millions in payouts for departing executives, as the company reported revenue had plummeted by more than 30 per cent.

The casino operator narrowly avoided a board spill over the remuneration report, which came just weeks after the company canvassed its payouts for former casino boss Barry Felstead, former chief executive Ken Barton and strategy executive vice president Todd Nisbet.

The trio left the business with almost $10 million between them in termination benefits and leave entitlements in the wake of revelations its Perth and Melbourne casinos had links to organised crime and money laundering.

With more than 30 per cent of shareholders voting against the remuneration report, the board acknowledged the concerns raised and vowed to improve its remuneration framework to ensure it aligned with market practice and community, regulatory and shareholder expectations.

Meanwhile, the company reported annual revenue of $1.5 billion for the 2021 financial year, down more than 30 per cent, and a net loss after tax of over $260 million.

Crown’s operations in the eastern states faced significant disruption amid COVID-19 lockdowns and ongoing restrictions, with its gaming operations closed for almost half of the financial year

But Crown Perth bucked the trend, remaining open for the vast majority of the financial year and trading above expectations. 

In the three months to October, main floor gaming revenue was down 9 per cent, but non-gaming revenue climbed 34 per cent.

Crown Resorts interim chair Jane Halton told the meeting COVID-induced travel restrictions, coupled with unprecedented levels of public and regulatory scrutiny, had resulted in one of the most challenging years in Crown’s history.

Ms Halton also addressed the reforms the organisation had undertaken in the wake of The Bergin Report, including renewed leadership, a revised organisational structure, cultural reform and a focus on regulatory compliance.

“While we accept there is still much work to do, I can assure you we have made real progress in reforming the company,” she said.

“I firmly believe we are on the right path to address our challenges.”

This morning's meeting also saw the endorsement of three new non-executive directors, including Nigel Morrison, Bruce Carter and Ziggy Switkowski.

The meeting came just hours before the next series of hearings are scheduled to begin at the Perth Casino Royal Commission, an inquiry which will determine Crown’s suitability to hold its WA casino licence.

Crown’s chief financial officer Alan McGregor is expected to front the commission this afternoon.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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