BUSINESS

Australia saves Sportingbet’s bacon

TAGs: Australia, Sportingbet, William Hill

sportingbet logo 2012Online sports betting firm Sportingbet thanked their Australian business for helping to offset disastrous performance in European markets during Q1 2013. The company, which is currently working through a takeover deal with William Hill, saw revenue almost half from £59.9m in Q1 2012 to £38.8m in Q1 2013 and amounts wagered dropped by £693.7m to £594.3m. CEO Andrew McIver blamed this on “relatively few sporting events” in October and November with a lower sportsbook margin of 9.2 percent (Q1 2012: 10.6 percent) In Europe also reflecting the drop in event numbers.

McIver added: “Notwithstanding this initial period of relatively volatile trading, which is not unusual, the Board remains confident that the results for the full year ending July 2013 will meet its current expectations.”

Australia, though, was a much needed breathe of fresh air. Active customers increased by 29 percent and amounts wagered were also up by 3.5 percent. Mobile now accounts for 23 percent of total wagers in Australia compared with just 7 percent using them to place bets last year. This is the primary reason that William Hill are so interested in getting a hold of a slice of Sportingbet and it will be a shrewd investment given this is pretty much the sole part of the business that is performing excellently.

Back over to Europe and amounts wagered in Spain dropped off by 57 percent and Greece suffered the same fate with wagering down 16 percent – although that was “in-line with expectations”. Other than sports, casino and games net gaming revenue was down 33.1 percent and poker revenue also decreased by a disappointing 49.5 percent. It all means the stock market reaction wasn’t a good one as shares dropped 3.8 percent to 44.25p at the time of writing and it makes you wonder just how perilous it would all be if the Aussies weren’t around. William Hill still has an extension to its deadline for this deal and by 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 we will know if they’re going to make good on the takeover.

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