CI Traders questions Guernsey casino development

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Channel Islands leisure and retail group CI Traders has put a question mark over its proposed casino development on Guernsey.CIT said it is talking...

Channel Islands leisure and retail group CI Traders has put a question mark over its proposed casino development on Guernsey.

CIT said it is talking to the Channel Islands' authorities about the timing and scale of the planned development at the St Pierre Park Hotel.

The company was awarded the license in September 2003 on the condition that it completed a substantial refurbishment and enlargement of the St Pierre complex, at a cost estimated at the time at £15m, within a three year schedule.

With that period expiring towards the end of next year, CIT said its current financial projections "show returns that barely cover funding costs unless substantial improvements in hotel occupancy rates are contemplated."

Executive chairman Tom Scott said: "We continue to believe that a casino is attractive as a venue for the Guernseymarket to support its tourism industry and we hope to come to a satisfactory conclusion of our discussion with the authorities later this year."

Reporting full year results, CIT said group turnover increased by 2.8 per cent to £293.9m, with pre-tax profits up 33.3 per cent to £14.8m.

On Jersey, where the group operates 54 pub and bars, turnover in managed houses fell, with more pubs transferred to tenancies, but "reduced costs led to an improvement in operating profit for the estate as a whole".

On Gurnsey, trading in town pubs was "well down" onlast year as the isalnd generally saw lower demand, although community pubs recorded "solid" performances.

The year also saw the CIT-owned Jersey Brewery relocated to an out-of-town site. The company said this freed up the valuable Ann Street brewery site in St Helier for re-development, while allowing the continued supply of locally brewed beers.

Related topics: Other operators

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