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Arena Halves Losses

3 September 2003

UNITED KINGDOM – As reported by the Edinburgh News: "Racecourse owner Arena Leisure has halved its first-half losses as more punters took time out to have a flutter.

"Higher attendances at Arena's racetracks helped trim pre-tax losses for the six months to June to £2 million (US$3.1 million) , down from £4.5m (US$7.1 million)last time.

"The bulk of the losses came from Arena's investment in the specialist racing television channel attheraces, backed jointly by BSkyB and Channel 4. Arena's share of the loss-making venture was £5.6m during the first half, which offset strong growth in earnings from the rest of its operations.

"The group said racecourse attendances had risen 17 per cent, while prize money was up 28 per cent to a record £5.7m.

"…The group said it was confident that ongoing deregulation of the horseracing and gambling sectors would present it with more commercial opportunities…"

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