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Packer's Macau costs skyrocket

12 March 2007

MACAU – As reported by the Australia News: "Costs at James Packer's Macau casino business have blown out by another $90 million over the past three months as the joint venture between PBL and Melco battles delays on the construction of its first casino/hotel development, the Crown Macau.

"The US-listed Melco PBL Entertainment, whose shares have fallen almost 20 per cent since its listing last December, announced at the weekend that the cost of the project had blown out by another $US71 million or around 14 per cent to $US583.6 million ($760 million).

"…In December, Melco PBL said the total cost of its three proposed casino developments in Macau had almost doubled to $US3.3 billion, with the cost of the Crown Macau then estimated at $US512.6 million.

"The latest figure for the Crown Macau, described by PBL and Melco as a 'six-star casino/hotel project' is now three times the figure of $US192 million in construction costs estimated for the project by the joint venturers in August 2005.

"In an announcement to the US over-the-counter market Nasdaq on Friday US time, Melco PBL Entertainment blamed the latest blowout in costs for the casino on rising pre-opening and property market expenses, food and entertainment expenses for the casino and design and fit-out expenses for the hotel and casino…"

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