SkyCity investors to get update on Thursday

SkyCity Entertainment investors will get their first update from the company on Thursday  after the 22 October fire that wrecked the company’s showpiece convention centre in downtown Auckland.

The company’s share price has slightly increased from its pre-fire price of $3.87 on 22 October to close at $3.91 yesterday, but investors and analysts are hoping that the company will be able to say much more about the impact of the fire and the consequential delay on completion of the convention centre than it has to date. The Auckland investor meeting was scheduled before the fire.

SkyCity’s chief executive Graeme Stephens said previously that the delay would be “material” and was “absolutely devastating for us’,  but gave no timetable, while Fletcher Building have suggested a delay of at least 12 months to a building already 18 months behind its original schedule.

Currently a ten agency team of government and council investigators is assessing the cause of the fire, and their findings may well have an impact on the liability of the various parties including the main contractor Fletcher Building and its various subcontractors.

Both SkyCity and Fletchers have expressed confidence in their unnamed insurers and maintained that they are each covered for relevant risks.

So far the company has not provided any trading update since the start of its financial year on 1 July, although it did say at the AGM in October that there had been a positive start overall while international business was said to have had a “reasonable start.”

The company was forecasting a steady profit and dividend of 20cps and was using the proceeds of its sale of assets in Darwin and carparks to reduce debt and operate an on market share buy back scheme. Now investors are looking for more detail brokers told AGB today.