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Six-month delay for Queen's Wharf but Star earnings on the rise

Business

The Queen’s Wharf casino opening has been pushed back by up to six months as pandemic shutdowns hit the Star Group.

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Star said news of the delay had only just been revealed by the project’s builder and it has yet to understand why it has occurred.

It said it was now scheduled to open in the first half of 2023, rather than the end of 2022.

Star’s Queensland casinos had a bumper year despite intermittent lockdowns. Earnings before interest and tax at the Brisbane Treasury casino jumped 192 per cent for the year to $86 million. The Gold Coast reported a 38 per cent increase in EBIT to $50 million while Sydney fell 48 per cent to a $84 million.

Overall, Star Group reported a net profit of $116 million.

It was a record performance for the Treasury and Gold Coast casinos.

Managing director Matt Bekier said the Queen’s Wharf development, which is costing Star about $2.4 billion, was further de-risked by moving about 90 per cent of the costs to lump sum terms.

“Queen’s Wharf Brisbane is now anticipated to open progressively in the first half of 2023, previously anticipated from late 2022,” Bekier said.

“The Dorsett hotel and apartments project at the Star Gold Coast is well advanced and set for completion in 2022.

“The experience (of) last year has demonstrated how resilient our business is and how quickly customers return when our properties are allowed to open. This gives us great confidence as vaccination levels increase and return to normal approaches.”

The company said its revenue of $1.5 billion was driven by a “very strong” gaming performance in Queensland.

It forecast a return to more normal operations in the second half of 2022 when vaccination levels are increased domestically and globally.

 

 

 

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