Casino operator Echo Entertainment’s CEO John Redmond is retiring from the company after just one year in the job.
Mr Redmond will be succeeded as CEO by the company’s current chief financial officer Matt Bekier, who has been in that job since Echo was split off from Tabcorp to float as a separate listed company in June 2011.
Echo’s chairman John O’Neill says personal reasons are behind Mr Redmond’s decision to leave and return to his home in the US.
“Over a transition period of the next three months, John will be handing over his responsibilities to Matt Bekier,” Mr O’Neill said in a statement.
“Matt knows the company and the Australian market exceptionally well and has been working closely with John in re-establishing a path towards profitable growth.
“The board is confident that Matt is the right person to lead the group forward on the foundations that have been built, and looks forward to the continuity that Matt’s appointment will provide.”
The announcement comes as Echo reported a 30.5 per cent fall in net profit to $46.1 million, largely due to a $15.5 million one-off cost from restructuring some of its financial arrangements late last year.
Excluding one-off expenses, the company made $71.5 million, up 1.3 per cent on the same time a year earlier.
However, the rise in profit came through extensive cost-cutting, which saw operating expenses down 4.5 per cent.
Echo says its gross revenue was down 7.3 per cent to $901 million, or down 4.8 per cent to $930 million on a ‘normalised’ basis.
The company’s domestic revenues were down 3.5 per cent, which it attributes to weak consumer sentiment, and its gross revenue from VIP gambling was down 9 per cent.
Echo says revenue from its recently revamped The Star casino in Sydney was down 6.5 per cent, with pre-tax earnings off 5.7 per cent to $90 million.
The result at its Queensland casinos was worse, with pre-tax earnings falling nearly 30 per cent to $34 million.
However, the company gave an upbeat outlook, saying revenue had shown strong growth in every property in January.
It is also seeking development approvals for a $345 million expansion and refresh of its Jupiters Gold Coast casino.
Echo shares were up 0.2 per cent to $2.325 by 10:54am (AEDT).