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PBL profits dip

23 February 2007

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australia Herald Sun: "Flagging TV revenue and lucky punters slugged James Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting group in the first half of the financial year, trimming profit for the period by 12 per cent.

"PBL's net profit for the six months to December 31 2006 came in at $340.3 million, down from $387.3 million in the previous corresponding period, although that figure was inflated by a $16.9 million one-off gain.

"…Following his joint venture with leveraged buyout firm CVC Asia Pacific, which delivered $4.6 billion for acquisitions and debt repayments, Mr Packer is steering PBL's focus towards the vast gambling markets of Asia.

"…During the period, the critical win rate at PBL's Crown and Burswood casinos slumped to 1.21 per cent.

"In the previous corresponding period, PBL's gambling division posted a win rate of 1.64 per cent.

"Despite this gambling still accounted for 51 per cent of PBL's pre-tax earnings, a proportion that's likely to swell as Mr Packer prepares to open three casinos in Macau…"

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