Star Entertainment’s first-half statutory loss widens

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(Reuters) – Star Entertainment Group’s first-half statutory loss widened, the casino operator said on Thursday, as it navigates through regulatory concerns and costs related to compliance procedures.

The company’s earnings took a hit from the increased regulatory restrictions at its Sydney operations from mid-September, and rise in competition since the opening of Crown Resort’s Sydney operations in August after the New South Wales (NSW) regulator granted it a licence.

Star said it “continues to pursue the recycling of non-core assets, including the Treasury buildings,” adding that the asset is expected to contribute A$233.0 million in additional cash.

The second largest Australian casino operator posted statutory net loss after tax of A$1.26 billion ($858.19 million) for the six months ended Dec. 31, compared with A$74.2 million in losses last year.

The firm, however, posted A$43.6 million in normalised net profit after tax for first-half, compared with A$73.7 million in losses last year.

($1 = 1.4682 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Riya Sharma and Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Shailesh Kuber)