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Smoking ban hits Tabcorp's results

23 Aug 2007

AUSTRALIA -- As reported by Bloomberg: "Tabcorp Holdings Ltd., Australia's largest gaming company, had a 12 percent fall in second-half profit after the introduction of smoking bans cut earnings from casinos.

"Net income fell to A$226.3 million ($183 million) in the six months ended June 30, from A$257.8 million a year earlier. Second-half figures were calculated by subtracting first-half earnings from the A$450.4 million full-year profit the Melbourne-based company reported today.

"Chief Executive Officer Elmer Funke Kupper, appointed last month after Matthew Slatter was fired, is refurbishing Tabcorp's casinos to adjust to smoking bans as well as upgrading betting shops to revive growth. He is also renegotiating licenses that generate two-thirds of sales.

"...Annual earnings before items fell 3.8 percent to A$515.6 million, missing expectations for profit of A$530 million, according to the average of nine analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

"...Tabcorp shares fell 3 cents to A$16.17 at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney and have fallen 4 percent this year..."

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