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Australasia, News

NZ casino operator SkyCity unveils capital plan, halts dividend

(Adds details on funding plan, outlook, background)

June 17 (Reuters) – Casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd laid out a plan on Wednesday to raise NZ$915 million ($589 million) to shore up its balance sheet amid the coronavirus pandemic, and said it would not pay a dividend till at least next year.

The casino operator said it would look to raise up to NZ$230 million through a discounted share placing, and that it had secured new debt facilities worth NZ$160 million as well as debt covenant waivers from its lenders. (https://bit.ly/3fytznk)

Casino operators have been among the worst hit by measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, with most forced to close their doors.

Since April, SkyCity has laid off or furloughed at least 1,100 of its more than 5,000 staff across Australia and New Zealand, and pulled its annual financial forecast.

In fresh guidance on Wednesday it said it expected normalised net profit after tax (NPAT) of NZ$52 million to NZ$67 million, much lower than its earlier forecast of NZ$85 million to NZ$100 million.

It said it would suspend its dividend till at least June 2021, and review its policy thereafter. ($1 = 1.5526 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Stephen Coates)


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