Sportingbet's Australian operations deliver strong performance

Gilt-tinged third quarter results from its Australian operations has enabled online gambling group Sportingbet to deliver another set of strong performance numbers to its shareholders despite the economic difficulties in the Greek and Spanish economies.

Results from Australia enabled the group to post a third quarter rise in NGR of 30% compared to the same period in 2009 as net gaming revenue reached £55.7 million for the three months ended 30 April 2010 (Q3,2009: £42.9 million). Operating profit achieved an 18% increase over last year, rising to £12 million (Q3,2009: £10.2 million).

Q3 NGR from Australian operations rocketed 167% to £10.4 million (Q3,2009: £3.9 million), although 23% was made up of favourable foreign exchange movements.

The company's sports margin increased substantially to 5.9% compared to 2.9% in 2009. In Europe, the firm's sports betting activities achieved a 21% rise in NGR to £29.2 million (Q3,2009: £24.1 million), whilst online casino business in the region delivers growth of 17% to £11.6 million (Q3,2009: £9.9 million).

Online poker declined, dropping 10% to £4.5 million as competition against major sites still servicing the US market intensified.

Chief executive officer Andrew McIver confirmed the company's intention to secure French online sports betting and poker licensing in order to operate in the newly liberated French market, but cautioned: "It is going to take us longer to get the IT compliant site that we hitherto expected based on unofficial conversations with French authorities. We are estimating it will take us months to produce an IT system that is compliant."

McIver again expressed reservations about proposed French taxes, saying: "We still don't know what some of the sports levies are going to be. If you make a 10% margin, and the starting point is a 7% turnover tax, you are down at 3% already. If you have to give 1% (of that) to the sports federation, you are down to 2%. You just need those sports levies to equal 2%, and then, what's the point?"

Source: InfoPowa News