Billabong shares fall as company reports $537 million loss: Midday Roundup

Surfwear retailer Billabong announced today it has posted a $537 million first-half loss and breached its debt covenants following huge write-downs.

The hefty loss is in sharp contrast to the $16 million profit the company posted in the corresponding period in the previous year.

At 11.50am Billabong shares were down 4.12% following the result, but had dropped as much as 7.1% earlier this morning.

Discussions are continuing between the company and the two companies which have made takeover bids for it as the due diligence period is expected to conclude by the end of March.

Billabong had to list $270 million of borrowings from banks as current liabilities on its balance sheet because of breaching its debt covenants.

Packer’s Crown Casino profits drop 34%

Crown Casino has posted a 34% drop in profits for the six months to December, with net profits down $93.6 million.

James Packer’s casino operator still recorded profits of $180.8 million and the fall incorporates a $74.3 million loss on Crown’s investment in Sydney and casino operator Echo Entertainment.

Crown announced an interim dividend of $0.18, franked to $0.50.

Chief executive Rowen Craigie said in a statement the result for the first half of the financial year was decent.

“Revenue growth reflects the benefits of recent property refurbishments, particularly the expansion of the main gaming floor in Perth,” Craigie says.

Australian shares regain on yesterday’s losses

Australian shares have opened positively despite a fall on Wall Street overnight, earning back some of yesterday’s losses as the market fell below the coveted 5,000 mark at close.

At midday, the S&P/ASX 200 was at 5040.5, up 60.4 points.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.34% lower last night at 13,880.62.


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