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Markets News

UPDATE 1-NZ's SkyCity sees annual profit at top end of view, books $108 mln charge

(Adds outlook, background)

Aug 20 (Reuters) - Casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd forecast annual normalised earnings at the top end of its outlook range and said it would book a charge of A$150 million ($107.79 million) in fiscal 2020 related to its Adelaide casino.

The Auckland-based casino operator said on Thursday it now expects full-year normalised net profit after tax (NPAT) between NZ$65 million ($42.65 million) and NZ$67 million, compared with its earlier forecast of NZ$52 million to NZ$67 million.

Operations of casino operators have been crippled by restrictions imposed to check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, with most forced to close their doors.

The impairment charge lowered SkyCity’s reported full-year NPAT forecast to between NZ$234 million and NZ$236 million, from NZ$330 million to NZ$360 million expected earlier.

The company in June unveiled plans to raise NZ$915 million and said it would not pay a dividend till at least next year as its casinos were shuttered amid nationwide lockdowns.

SkyCity has closed its flagship Auckland casino and entertainment facilities until Aug. 26 as New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland returned to a lockdown following new COVID-19 cases in the city. ($1 = 1.3916 Australian dollars) ($1 = 1.5242 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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