The Star Entertainment Group to lose 500 employees

The Star Entertainment Group (SGR) has laid off 500 full-time employees due to 'significant and rapid deterioration in operating conditions' in Sydney.

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According to an announcement made two months after posting a AU$1.3bn (US$870m) loss for the first half of FY23, the group's current financial performance, excluding the Covid-19 period, is at ‘unprecedented low levels.’

Because of this, the firm directed a strategic assessment of The Star Sydney, eliminated short-term and other incentives for FY23, and frozen salaries for non-EBA (enterprise bargaining agreement) staff to cut group operational expenditure by more than $100m.

The Star reported that underlying FY23 earnings are expected to be in the range of $280m to $310m without this significant recruitment and layoffs.

This contrasts with statutory earnings of $239m in FY22, but that year made considerable damage by the closure of its properties due to Covid-19 restrictions. The group's earnings were $556.5m in FY19, before the impact of the pandemic.

The Star said: “The Group is experiencing a significant and rapid deterioration in operating conditions, particularly at The Star Sydney and The Star Gold Coast.“This has largely been driven by the compounding impact of regulatory operating restrictions and exclusions and by an emerging weakness in consumer discretionary spending behaviour.

It also stated that it is still moving forward with the planned sale of the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Gold Coast for over $200m.

Ben Heap, Interim Chairman, retired at the end of March. David Foster, the former CEO of Suncorp Bank and the current chairman of G8 Education, took his place.

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