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THE number of workers on the Queen’s Wharf project is about to increase significantly as more than a $1 billion worth of construction contracts are finalised.
Star Entertainment Group says about $1.3 billion worth of construction contracts have been finalised at its Queen’s Wharf gaming and tourist resort taking shape in Brisbane.
Star managing director Matt Bekier, who yesterday announced a drop in annual profit due to a slide in spending by international VIP high rollers, said the contracts accounted for about 60 per cent of the total project costs for Queen’s Wharf.
“This is a big boost to the local economy,” said Mr Bekier. “The number of workers on the project will increase very significantly soon. At the peak, there will be 2000 people on site as we build the shells of the buildings and do the fit out.” The integrated resort development is expected to open in 2022.
Star Entertainment Group’s profit fell 8.4 per cent to $223.7 million in the 12 months to the end of June 30 as high roller VIP gamblers spent less in its casinos.
But Mr Bekier said the disappointing VIP performance had been offset by solid growth in its domestic business, including its hotel operations.
“Investors like the fact that our business is well balanced,” said Mr Bekier. “Domestic revenue now accounts for 88 per cent of our business while high rollers are only 12 per cent.”
Domestic earnings rose 5.4 per cent but earnings from its international VIP rebate business fell 35.6 per cent on a lower spend per visit. Overall normalised revenue, which strips out win rate fluctuations and other one-off items, fell 0.9 per cent to $2.16 billion.
Star cut its final dividend from 13 cents a year ago to 10 cents, fully franked. Star said domestic revenue since the end of the 2019 financial year has continued to reflect a cautious consumer environment but had improved from the immediately prior period.
Mr Bekier said the positive impact from a recent organisational restructure of the company was being delivered, with about $40 million of annual cost benefits to date. In June, Star slashed up to a fifth of 2000 salaried staff from its Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney casinos.
Star shares climbed 5.9 per cent to $3.77 yesterday.
Source: Courier Mail