James Packer steps down as Crown chairman; Telstra’s net profit falls 5.8%: Midday Roundup

James Packer steps down as Crown chairman; Telstra’s net profit falls 5.8%: Midday Roundup

Aussie billionaire James Packer has stepped down as the chairman of Crown Resorts and will be replaced by Robert Rankin.

Packer is moving to become executive director of the company, pending the board’s approval.

The Rich Lister will remain co-chairman of Melco Crown Entertainment and Alon Resort in the meantime.

Packer said in a statement Crown remains his number one business priority.

“I am extremely proud of the company and look forward to continuing our efforts to build a global luxury brand,” Packer said.

“Crown has a pipeline of resorts globally and this is where the majority of my time will be spent. Rob Rankin has my complete trust and respect as an executive and he will do an outstanding job as chairman.”

“Given our global growth and aspirations, this is the right time for the company to make this change. I look forward to working closely with him,” Packer added.

Crown Resorts today announced a net profit after tax of $446.3 million.


Telstra’s net profit falls 5.8%

Telstra boosted its total income by 1.2% to $26.6 billion during the 2015 financial year, despite the company’s net profit taking a 5.8% hit.

Telstra attributed the profit drop to the sale of its Hong Kong mobile business CSL in May 2014.

Chief executive officer Andrew Penn said this morning he is pleased with the results.

“We continued to attract new customers with the net addition of 664,000 retail mobile customer services and 189,000 retail fixed broadband customers during FY15,” Penn said.

“We are committed to providing our customers with the best mobile coverage and reliability, with fewer dropouts and faster downloads in more places.

“Over three years to June 2017, we expect to have invested more than $5 billion into Telstra’s mobile network. We will continue to expand our 4G coverage to reach 99% of the population.”


Shares up on open

Aussie shares have nudged slightly higher this morning off the back of strong trading from the three major banks and the US market recovering from China’s shock currency devaluation.

“European bourses and commodity markets came under heavy selling pressure overnight following the yuan devaluation inspired rout in the Asia Pacific region yesterday,” CMC Markets chief market strategist, Michael McCarthy said.

“However, US shares rallied back from early weakness to post modest gains, and copper and oil rebounded. This may spur a positive start to trading locally, particularly in light of in-line corporate reporting so far, but all eyes will turn to the yuan rate set this morning to set the tone.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 0.4%, rising 21.6 points to 5403.7 points at 11.25am AEST. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed down 0.33 points to 17,402.52 points.



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