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Gaming Guru

IGN Staff
 

Greece Strong for Sportingbet in Third Quarter

3 June 2009

Sportingbet grew third-quarter net gaming revenue by 7.6 percent to £43.8 million over last year, spurred by a particularly strong performance in sports betting.

Net gaming revenue from sports rose 19.6 percent to £25 million, but casino (£9.9 million) and poker (£5 million) were largely unchanged versus last year.

In its results statement on Wednesday, the company called casino the most "susceptible of its products to the current economic pressures on recreational spending."

Growth in sports, meanwhile, was driven by Greece and Spain, where punters, respectively, wagered 57 percent and 34 percent more than they did in 2008.

"Sportingbet is a Buy because of the immaturity of the sports betting market demonstrated by these strong results; the upside potential on consolidation; and the anticipated announcement of a settlement with the US DoJ," Ivor Jones, an analyst with Evolution Securities, said in a note to clients Wednesday.

European sports margins were in at 10.6 percent, down from 11.3 percent during the comparable period in 2008. Margins were affected by an unfavorable run of sporting results in April, the company said.

Adjusted operating profits rose 8 percent to £9.8 million, while pre-tax profits rose 98 percent to £8.3 million. Net profits were up 141 percent to £8.2 million.

Sportingbet said its negotiations with the United States Justice Department are "active and ongoing," but could not offer further clarity.

The company said fourth-quarter trading has started strongly with May revenue up 19 percent against previous-year period.

It ended the period with cash and cash equivalents of £54.1 million.

IGN Staff
IGN Staff