London Clubs creditors bet on brighter future

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) – Creditors of indebted London Clubs International Plc have extended the British casino operator’s debt facilities for two years until June 2004, the company said in its annual results statement on Tuesday.

Creditors owed a total of 258 million pounds ($403 million) have provided 15 million pounds of extra working capital to keep the business afloat until then, and to finance a review of the options available to the firm, which operates casinos around the world.

But the group, hurt by the collapse of its Las Vegas resort Aladdin which filed for bankruptcy in September, said operating profits for the year to March were all but wiped out by the costs of servicing its debts, the costs and fees connected with the refinancing, and start up costs linked to its South African casino opening programme.

Turnover for the year to March 31 was 152.5 million pounds against 151.6 million while operating profit, excluding an exceptional 99.8-million-pound charge for the Aladdin write off, slumped to 200,000 pounds from 19.2 million.

At pretax level the company reported a loss of 119.6 million pounds for the year, widening from 52.8 million a year ago.

London Clubs also announced the appointment of a new chairman, Michael Beckett.

Quebec approves joint venture with Loto-Quebec to help run Mexican casinos

MONTREAL (CP) — The state-owned operator of Quebec’s casinos is hoping to win a piece of the lucrative Mexican market if the country’s politicians sanction the construction of casinos in tourism meccas …