By Andrew Starke
National Leisure and Gaming (NLG) CEO, Andrew Jolliffe, has hit back at criticism that the group’s $7.2 million loss, reported last week, may have discouraged suitors interested in acquiring the pub operator.
NLG is believed to be in discussions with Woolworths, Tabcorp and Tatts Group about the sale of its 36 hotels and gaming licences.
However Jolliffe told TheShout that it was business as usual for NLG despite the groups half year results fueling industry speculation.
“That NLG's capital structure is under pressure is not new news,” he said. “Nor is it new news that NLG has been wholly committed to assessing solutions designed to address this structural impediment.
“What is more relevant in respect of the interim results is that the factors NLG can actually influence in the short term, namely revenue attraction and operating costs, have both been aggressively and successfully managed,” he continued.
Aside from divesting in hotels over the course of 2009, NLG sought to cut costs in the half year by implementing wage reduction initiatives.
“To that end, gross wages have been materially reduced when compared to the relevant prior period and gross sales were approximately only 1 percent lower than the corresponding period, notwithstanding the fiscal fade in Q2,” he said.
“When these top line results are marked to market against the best multi-site operators in the industry, the NLG performance is the equal to or greater than any competitor example one can provide.”