Sportingbet Profit Up 8% To £38.1m For 2011

Online gambling group Sportingbet has just released its finacial figures for the year ending 31st July, revealing an 8% increase in its profits to £38.1 million.
The positive result came in spite of the company’s total revenue being 1% lower than its preceding FIFA World Cup year, which was down to £206.3m from £207.5m in 2010.
Furthermore, Sportingbet receives 27% of its revenue from Greece and Spain but the current lacklustre state of their economies negatively impacted wagers which were down 22% and 2% respectively.
Nevertheless, strong performances from its operations in Brazil, Australia and South Africa helped the company compensate for lacklustre results elsewhere and as Sportingbet CEO Andrew McIver commented:
“The benefits of operating across a broad geographical base were demonstrated with strong growth in our Emerging Markets division, Australia and some of our European territories, offsetting the economic weakness in Greece and Spain.”
The sportsbook and casino products operator also owns ParadisePoker, with its poker offering accounting for around 8% of its total gaming revenue. Reflecting wider challenges in the poker market, Sportingbet saw its gross poker revenue fall by 18.5% to £17.7 million from £21.7 million in 2010.
Overall, however, Sportingbet’s results were well ahead of those forecast for the company, which in turn strengthened its appeal to Ladbrokes, which is currently in a £600 million takeover talk with Sportingbet, at 70p to 80p-a-share
The market, too, reacted favourably to the results with Sportingbet’s share price currently up 5.4% or 2.25p, to 44p.
Going forward, analyst James Hollins from Evolution Securities said:
“On a medium-term view, we see a group that has a leading position in sports betting risk management and branding in key European/Australian territories that faces material growth opportunities and zero ongoing regulatory risk.

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