AAP Finance

Tabcorp sags amid soft H1 betting revenue

By AAP Newswire

Tabcorp has a lotteries and Keno boost to thank for its first-half profit lift, though investors remain underwhelmed after soft economic conditions greatly reduced the amount spent at its wagering and gaming services.

Total revenue at the gambling giant climbed 4.4 per cent to $2.91 billion in the six months to December 31, fuelled by a 12.4 per cent surge in lotteries and Keno revenue to $1.58 billion.

Oz Lotto and a record $150 million Powerball jackpot helped attract 300,000 extra customers during the period, with the lotteries business now boasting 3.6 million active registered customers.

The picture is not as rosy for the wagering and media division, where revenue fell 3.7 per cent to $1.18 billion in the half in an environment of soft discretionary spending.

Revenue from gaming services also slipped 4.4 per cent to $149 million.

Shares in Tabcorp slipped 5.36 per cent to $4.325 in late trade on Wednesday, having been as low as $4.31 after its earnings and underlying profit figures underwhelmed the market.

Tabcorp's net profit from continuing operations, which strips out $14.7 million in significant items, was up 2.9 per cent or $6 million to $213.5 million for the half, while statutory profit was 10.8 per cent higher at $198.8 million, up from $179.4 a year ago.

Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough said stiff competition in a soft spending market proved challenging for the wagering and media division.

He was, however, buoyed by the company entering the final phase of a "long and complex" process of integrating the Tatts business following the 2017 merger.

"The ex-UBET business does not yet have the broader set of products or services to win customers in a highly competitive environment," Mr Attenborough said on Wednesday.

"However, the integration of TAB and UBET is in its final phase and we look forward to providing the superior TAB experience to customers in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory."

The company has kept its interim dividend flat at 11 cents per share, fully franked.

TABCORP'S MIXED FIRST HALF

* Revenue up 4.4pct to $2.91b

* Net profit from continuing operations up 2.9pct to $213.5m

* Statutory net profit up 10.8pct to $198.8m

* Interim dividend held at 11 cents per share, fully franked.