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Solid first half performance by Sportingbet

Online gambling group Sportingbet plc has posted an increase in second quarter profits of 18%, thanks mainly to growth in the football betting sector.

Key highlights of the report showed that:

  • Amounts wagered on European and Australian sports surged by 26% in Europe and 54% in Australia
  • The popularity of in-play betting continues to drive the group's European sports betting turnover
  • Record customer sign-ups and active customer numbers have characterised the second quarter
  • European sports gross margin reached 10.7%
  • The company has successfully launched a mobile gambling platform in Australia
  • Sportingbet has net cash of £27.3 million
  • Net income was £9.3 million pounds, up from £7.9 million in the same period last year.
  • The company has launched a 24-hour football news site and added more South American coverage
  • Q2 amounts wagered were up 26% at £502.3 million, and on the half year (H1) up 26.9% to £965.5 million
  • H1 Net Gaming Revenue hit £101.2 million, up 24%, and in Q2 reached £52.6 million
  • EBITDA in Q2 was up 10.6% at £13.6, and in H1 saw a rise of 12.6% to £23.3
  • Operating profit in Q2 was 14% up at £9.8 million, and in H1 up 16.7% to £16.1 million
  • Online poker now accounts for 11.3% of group revenue, down from last year's 12.6%; poker services are provided by GTechG2
  • The company is planning a move from the AIM exchange to the main London Stock Exchange later this year.

Andrew McIver, Group Chief Executive, commented: "The second quarter is a busy time in the sporting calendar and consequently a
material period in the Group's financial year. As such it is very pleasing to report results in line with our full year plan, particularly given the recessionary backdrop in many of our markets.

"The Group continues to deliver industry leading sports margins, strong growth in Net Gaming Revenue and record numbers of active customers. In play betting goes from strength to strength in Europe with our 24/7 in play World Football microsite launched in the quarter.

"The Group has also concluded a number of major strategic IT projects which allow customers a significant uplift in the number of markets on which to bet and faster bet settlement. In our Australian business we have also had a very positive uptake of our new mobile offering.

"In the new quarter, amounts wagered on sports in February has been ahead of budget, although, as can be the case in the short term, there has been some margin weakness. This was due to a higher percentage of European football favourites winning and a higher goal frequency than average.

"Casino, games and poker continue trends seen in the first half of the year. Based both on this and the Group's robust performance for the first six months, the Board continues to remain confident of the full year outcome."

McIver said the firm had yet to reach a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over a resolution regarding its previous activities in that country. "We suspect based on the resolution they had with PartyGaming that it will be some sort of financial penalty but certainly haven't discussed quantum or timing," he said.

Source: InfoPowa News

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