Tabcorp Profits Fall
By Staff
Australian gambling and entertainment group Tabcorp Holdings Limited has raised $196.3 million from an institutional placement after announcing a 3.7 percent fall in profits for the last half of 2008.

The Melbourne-based firm behind online bookmaker revealed net profits after tax for the final six months of last year of $170.1 million, which it stated was in line with expectations following a license amortisation charge of $8.5 million.

Despite the worsening economic climate, Tabcorp stated that normalised net operating revenues increased 6.4 percent to $1.36 billion helped by the horseracing industry’s recovery from the effects of equine influenza. However, it reported that revenues from its casinos division were flat while expenses had risen by 4.9 percent

“The results were positive in light of a tougher economic environment and the additional licence amortisation charge in Victoria,” said John Story, Chairman for Tabcorp.

“The board has adjusted the dividend policy for the company. This change recognises the reality of the current financial markets, supports the ongoing investment in our existing businesses and ensures that shareholders benefit from an appropriate distribution of earnings in the form of dividends.”

Tabcorp’s casino division saw operational expenses grow by 2.6 percent, which it stated was in line with its objective of keeping these within inflation for the 2009 financial year.

“Wagering and gaming performed well,” said Elmer Funke Kupper, Chief Executive Officer for Tabcorp.

“Both divisions grew revenues in each of their main product and customer segments and controlled expenses. The casinos division performance was below expectations particularly in New South Wales where pressure on consumer spending offset growth in visitation and stable market share.

“The first half result shows the benefits of our focus on our core operations, customer service and our competitive position in each business. This carried through in the first few weeks of the second half with revenues up in each of our divisions.”

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