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Packer's Crown profits get boost as Macau gamblers test luck at casino

SYDNEY--Billionaire James Packer's Crown Resorts reported a 65.7 percent surge in full-year profits Thursday, driven by strong earnings growth at its Macau joint venture.

The worldwide gambling empire's net profit in the 12 months to June 30 came in at AU$655.8 million (US$610 million), although weak consumer sentiment hurt trade at its Melbourne and Perth casinos.

Crown said its share of profits from its stake in Melco Crown rose 91 percent to AU$291.2 million, while gaming revenue was up 1.4 percent to AU$1.5 billion at its Australian operations.

The company added that it bought three Bombardier jets at a cost of AU$100 million during the year to transport its Asian VIP customers, replacing its existing fleet of Gulfstream planes.

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