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Skycity Waged Staff Earn $926,000 In Bonuses

Skycity Waged Staff Earn $926,000 In Bonuses

Following SKYCITY Entertainment Group's annual result announcement today, the eighth consecutive cash bonus will be paid out to waged staff at SKYCITY Auckland, lifting the total amount paid in staff bonuses across the SKYCITY Entertainment Group to approximately $5.3 million over the past four years.

Around 1946 wage-earning staff at SKYCITY Auckland, who work in a variety of roles ranging from gaming dealers to cleaners, chefs, waiters and car park attendants, will share in a total bonus pool of $926,000, to be paid out to approximately 3000 eligible waged staff across the Group over the coming week. They join SKYCITY's shareholders (who will receive dividends totalling 90% of the $121m profit) in celebrating the company's continued strong performance.

Full time waged employees will receive $400 cash in the hand, with those who have been with the company longer than five years receiving an additional long service recognition payment of an extra $50. SKYCITY Entertainment Group GM New Zealand Operations, Heather Shotter, says the bonus rewards staff for achieving demanding financial and customer service targets. "Customer service is paramount to SKYCITY.

"Our CEI (Customer Experience Index) customer service-based bonus scheme requires that the company meets its financial objectives and that staff reach high standards in customer service to receive their bonus.

"These targets are not simple to achieve and a bonus is certainly not to be taken for granted. It's a way of incentivising our staff to deliver excellent service and encourage repeat visitation.

"Over the past 12 months we've completed a major refurbishment programme, which saw the construction and opening of the new PLAY casino and Bar3 adjacent to that. We've expanded the attractions at the base of Sky Tower to incorporate a new merchandise/retail store and theatrette and continued to refresh offerings in Sky Tower - the country's leading stand-alone tourism attraction. We're also undertaking an expansion and refurbishment of our Members' Club facilities and recently celebrated the opening of the $65 million SKYCTIY Auckland Convention Centre.

"We've also been able to contribute significantly to the city through the creation of many new employment opportunities. SKYCITY this year hired and trained more than 150 hospitality staff to work in our new convention centre and will soon hire more people when we open our new five-star SKYCITY Grand Hotel in 2005.

"Our staff have constantly strived hard to achieve excellence in customer service over the past, very busy, 12 months and because they have met both the financial and customer service targets, we reward them. Their hard work is central to SKYCITY's successful financial performance," said Ms Shotter.

SKYCITY is unique in the entertainment and hospitality sector in offering incentive based bonuses to waged staff.

Waged employees at all SKYCITY Entertainment Group properties (SKYCITY Auckland, SKYCITY Hamilton, SKYCITY Queenstown, SKYCITY Adelaide) participate in a similar incentive based bonus scheme.

When announcing the company's annual result today, SKYCITY Entertainment Group Managing Director Evan Davies acknowledged the important contribution of staff to the company's strong performance.

"It's been another exciting year of development and growth for SKYCITY as we continue to invest in the company and offer a diverse range of leisure and entertainment experiences for our broad customer base.

"SKYCITY Entertainment Group currently employs some 4,400 people across our operations in New Zealand and Australia. CEI incentivises staff to strive for excellence in their roles and assists us to recruit and retain a high calibre workforce, across the board.

"Today I'm pleased to announce another strong result for SKYCITY which cannot be achieved without the hard work and dedication of our staff.

"Our incentive programmes were introduced to align employees' goals with the company's strategic objectives and so everyone can share when the company succeeds, said Mr Davies.

The CEI customer service based bonus scheme for waged staff was originally introduced at SKYCITY Auckland in December 2000, with other company properties following suit over the last two and a half years. Waged employees at all SKYCITY Entertainment Group properties* are entitled to a bonus, on top of ordinary wages and other benefits, if both customer service target levels and company financial targets are met.

Independent market research is undertaken monthly through the complex, surveying customers to determine levels of customer satisfaction. When the financial and customer service levels exceed the targets, waged staff are rewarded with cash bonuses half yearly.

The six-monthly bonuses for waged staff at SKYCITY sits alongside a similar plan for salaried staff, under which employees are rewarded annually for meeting company and individual performance targets with a mix of cash and SKYCITY shares. Many individual performance targets for salaried staff are linked to CEI targets, ensuring equal ownership of customer service delivery from front-of-house personnel through to executive management.

*SKYCITY Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory, was purchased by SKYCITY in July 2004 and the SKYCITY incentive programmes have not yet been introduced in Darwin. ENDS

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