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Current as of 27/10/16 01:59PM NZST
The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Former SkyCity boss cashes in

Former SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison. Photo / Doug Sherring
Former SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison. Photo / Doug Sherring

Former SkyCity city boss Nigel Morrison has cashed in some more of his shares in the casino operator, taking advantage of a run-up in the stock ahead of the firm's annual result tomorrow.

A disclosure posted to the NZX yesterday shows Morrison, who left the company at end of April after eight years at its helm, has sold 50,000 SkyCity shares this month for roughly $254,000

Adding to previous sales, the latest transactions have taken his total holding in the firm down to 1.2 million shares from around 1.9m at the end of May.

SkyCity shares - which have gained 16.2 per cent since late June and 17.8 per cent in the year-to-date - recently traded at $5.16.

Craigs Investment Partners head of private wealth research Mark Lister said SkyCity, of all the companies listed on the local market, had one of the highest exposures to Australia.

"So it will be a strong indicator of which economy is doing better," Lister said. "We suspect New Zealand."

Craigs has forecast the company to report a 13 per cent jump in full-year net profit to $146 million from revenue of $1.1 billion.

Lister said SkyCity's "flagship Auckland asset" was performing well as it benefited from strong economic tailwinds.

"In Adelaide, the redevelopment has experienced further delays, so we're looking for an update on this," Lister said.

"Adelaide is still a bit of a weak link, so we need to see evidence of that asset turning around."

He said the high roller market had been delivering strong growth for SkyCity.

"Management have been quoted as saying it can continue to deliver double-digit growth, so looking for evidence and fresh commentary."

CLSA analyst Aaron Fischer has said the strengthening of China's capital controls, the country's economic slowdown and Asian market volatility could affect the high roller gambling market across that continent this year.

With Morrison gone, tomorrow's result conference call with media and financial analysts will be presented by interim chief executive John Mortensen and chief financial officer Rob Hamilton.

SkyCity has said it is conducting a global search for a new CEO.

- BusinessDesk

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