Earnings for Packer’s firm increase

Aug 31, 2004 7:10 AM

When Kerry Packer, one of the world’s biggest "whales" as the gaming industry traditionally identifies the highest of the high rollers, came to Las Vegas, everyone from valet parkers to top-flight executives liked to repeat their favorite Packer stories.

However, it seems that in the past couple of years, those stories have become repetitious since Packer appears to be among the missing from the Las Vegas gaming tables.

But that doesn’t mean he isn’t active in the industry. At least, his Australian based company is.

Last week, his company, Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd., now operated by Kerry Packer’s son James as executive chairman, reported a 75% jump in earnings for the fiscal year ending on June 30. The company credited the increase to a strong economy and a rebound in advertising revenue.

Net profit for the year amounted to 668.2 million Australian dollars (about $471 million American), up from last year’s $380.8 million.

The company is involved in television, magazine, publishing and the casino industries.

"Each of our businesses," said a company spokesman, "is well positioned to maximize the benefits of a robust economy."

Earlier this year, Kerry Packer accepted the resignation of the company’s CEO in order to give him greater control over the direction of the company.