|Sportingbet plc, the online sports betting and gaming group, has announced its results for the second quarter ended 31 January 2007.|
The results show some steady growth during the quarter, although the figures do represent profit excluding the US business, which was sold October 2006 resulting in the company’s complete withdrawal from the United States.
Financial highlights from the second quarter show gross profit from continuing operations up 40 percent to £34.7 million compared to £24.7 million for the same period in 2006. Group operating profit is up 54 percent to £2 million (2006: £1.3m), despite legacy costs. Cash on the balance sheet, net of customer liabilities, is at £35.5m.
Business highlights dictate that the business is now benefiting from the swift management actions taken to restructure and reduce cost base, with £56m of annualised costs removed from the ongoing group so far, with additional initiatives in place to further improve efficiencies. The figures also indicate strong growth in sports active customer numbers, up 28 percent, and sports bet volumes up 44 percent.
Other highlights included the company’s new software agreement with Boss Media, combining all the Group’s poker players onto the Boss Network; the acquisition of assets of a Turkish marketing partner for an initial £3.5m and deferred consideration of up to £35.3m Sportingbet Plc shares; and future investment in Sportingbet Italia, taking ownership from 50 percent to 90 percent.
Andrew McIver, Group Chief Executive, said:
“We are very pleased with these results in what has been a difficult and turbulent time for the industry and for our staff in particular. We are particularly pleased with the growth in Group gross profit, up 40 percent, driven by the Group’s core offering of European sports betting.
Our strong KPI performance is flowing through into solid profitability as a direct result of the significant restructuring and cost reductions undertaken following our complete withdrawal from the US market. Whilst profits were inevitably impeded by legacy issues, we saw a significant acceleration in profitability during the period. The full benefit of the restructuring, along with a number of additional operational initiatives, will stand us in good stead as we look towards the balance of the year and beyond.”