Sportingbet saw sports wagers rise by 82 percent in Australia which helped to offset disappointing performance elsewhere. The increase still couldn’t arrest a decline that saw the company as a whole post an operating loss of £39.1million – compared to a profit of £24.4m in 2011. This was further compounded by a drop in revenues from £206.3m last year to £188.9m in 2012. The company line on this is their move towards a fully regulated offering caused exceptional one off costs and in that vein they now derive 80 percent of revenues from regulated markets.
“Sportingbet is a very different business to that of a year ago and is in a much stronger position. Our successful acquisition of Centrebet, which has out-performed our expectations, disposal of Turkey and introduction of regulation in our other key countries has resulted in over 80% of the Group’s revenue now being derived from regulated and/or taxed countries,” said Andrew McIver, group chief executive.
The company is now Australia’s leading fixed odds Internet and phone bookmaker and their new mobile app saw the gambling industry standard treble figure increase in amounts wagered, in their case the figure reaching 339 percent. It now accounts for around 28 percent of revenue in Australia and 40 percent of players in the country are transacting by mobile.
Over in Europe things couldn’t have been more different. Amounts wagered decreased by 30 percent with much of this likely to stem from the disposal of their Turkish language site. They also saw regulation in two of their major markets, Greece and Spain, and taxes rose by a net £9.4m. It wasn’t all doom and gloom in Europe as mobile penetration in the UK and Spain hit 30 percent.
The news on the Australian side of things will mean that William Hill and GVC Holdings are still going to have to bid more for the company than the 52.5p a share they offered late last month. Under takeover rules that deal must be made firm by October 16 and analysts think that 60p and upwards is closer to the correct price that Hills should be paying.