CROWN Resorts' (ASX: CWN) profit has dropped 9.1 per cent in the half year to 31 December, as VIP earning plummeted.
The normalised profit after tax figure stood at $191.3 million, which is an adjusted amount 'excluding the impact of any variance from theoretical win rate' on VIP win play and significant items.
Australian VIP revenue plunged 45.3 per cent, potentially linked to the detainment of 18 senior Crown employees in China last October.
Overall, revenue across Crown's Melbourne and Perth resorts declined 12.5 per cent.
CEO, Rowen Craigie, has resigned from the role after more than 20 years with the Crown resorts group. His resignation is effective 28 February.
Crown executive chair John Alexander says the result reflects 'difficult trading conditions'. Melbourne main floor gaming revenue modestly grew, while Perth dropped off.
Hotel occupancy rates held above 92 per cent across all Crown's east and west coast properties, with Crown Towers remaining the jewel at 97.2 per cent.
The $166.9 million sale of 40.9 million ordinary shares in MCE was included in a separate profit figure, reported as a significant item. This figure deemed revenue up 75.2 per cent to $359.1 million compared to the prior corresponding period.
Because of this decision to reduce Crown's investment in MCE, and to discontinue a proposed Las Vegas project, the company will move forward with a simplified organisational structure following Craigie's departure.
Craigie's responsibilities will be assumed by the executive chairman, John Alexander.
Crown Sydney is still on track to be completed by 2021, and Crown's 50/50 joint venture with Schiavello Group at Queensbridge Street, Melbourne will go ahead subject to financing and long-form agreements.
With its results, Crown came out with a new dividend policy where it will pay 60c per share on a full year basis, subject to its financial position. The new policy has been applied to this result, where an ordinary interim dividend of 30c per share has been declared.
Crown will also pay shareholders a special interim dividend of 83c per share for just this period.
Both the ordinary and special dividends are 60 per cent franked and payable to shareholders registered by March 2.
Crown's closest competitor, The Star Entertainment Group, reported last week its results were thrown off by the high-roller market in China.
Business News Australia.
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