Crown flags management restructure

Group combines heads of Australian resorts, set to benefit from soaring Macau gaming revenue.

Crown Ltd has created a new position of chief executive officer for Australian resorts and appointed Barry Felstead, the current chief executive officer of Crown Perth.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, the group said the appointment combines the two chief executive officer positions for Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth, effective immediately.

The news comes as some analysts increased Crown's earning forecasts on a 20% rise in Macau's gaming revenue in July, although others cut forecasts on weakening economic data, The Australian Financial Review reports.

According to the newspaper, Macau's gaming revenue hit $4.1 billion in July and has grown 15.9% in the year so far, which is set to boost Crown's joint venture in the casino hub Melco Crown.

Current chief executive officer of Crown Melbourne Greg Hawkins will step down, with the possibility of providing consulting and advisory services to the group in future.

Mr Felstead will be responsible for its VIP business as well as Australian resorts and will continue to report to Crown Ltd chief executive officer Rowen Craigie, with offices in Melbourne and Perth.

Mr Craigie said the restructure would help Crown "further optimise the synergies and performance of its two existing Australian resorts, while being positioned to capitalise on opportunities to expand its resort portfolio in Australia".

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