23 Feb 2009

Casino company to reduce dividend, repay debt

12:13 pm on 23 February 2009

Sky City Entertainment is to reduce dividends by up to a third and repay debt in response to the economic crisis.

Underlying net profit for the casino operator was flat at $55.6 million, compared with $55.9 million last year.

Sky City says the profit was underpinned by solid performance from its casinos.

Chief executive Nigel Morrison says the result was satisfactory given the economic environment.

He says Sky City's casinos in Australia are more resilient to the economic downturn.

Sky City will pay a dividend of 9 cents per share, compared with 11 cents a year earlier.

The company plans to reduce its dividend payout ratio to 60% - 70% of net profit, to retain capital for repaying debt.

The company made a net profit of $54.8 million, compared with $1.3 million a year earlier, which reflected a $60 million writedown of its cinema chain.