Australian betting operator Tabcorp says its online business was key to the company meeting analysts’ forecasts for its fiscal 2015 performance.
Group revenue in the 12 months ending June 30 was up 5.7% to A$2.15b, while net profit after tax rose 157.4% to $334.5m. However, $163.2m of this profit came via a favorable income tax benefit, without which profit would have risen a more realistic but still impressive 14.7% to $171.3m.
Tabcorp’s mainstay wagering & media revenue was up 7% to $1.86b, with Fixed Odds & Digital being yet again the division’s strongest growth engine. Digital betting turnover was up 17.8% to $3.4b while retail betting was basically flat at $6.6b. Revenue at Tabcorp’s Northern Terrirtory-licensed Luxbet site rose 10.9% to $53.1m and and 63% of online wagers were made via mobile devices. Luxbet also received a UK operating license during the year.
TAB Racing revenue rose 5% to $1.67b, with tote revenue down 2% to $1.24b and fixed-odds up one-third to $430m. TAB Sports revenue rose 16.2% to $219m. The Trackside virtual racing operation reported revenue up 12% to $100m.
Tabcorp’s TGS gaming services business in Victoria and New South Wales was up 1.5% to $100m. Keno operations in Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory reported a 2.7% rise in turnover but revenue fell 2.4% to $199m, which the company blamed on lucky punters hitting more jackpots during fiscal Q3.
Tabcorp CEO David Attenborough said the ongoing integration of the company’s retail and digital channels remained a key focus going forward. The company plans to hire an additional 100 staff over the current fiscal year, with most of these destined for customer experience and digital roles. Attenborough said “all industries who have retail customers are facing the digitalization of the way customers want to interact with them and we have to keep pace.”
Tabcorp also addressed recent charges of shoddy anti-money laundering protocols by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC). Tabcorp said it recognized AUSTRAC’s concerns and was “committed to ensuring they are resolved.” Tabcorp has “expanded and accelerated … a program of works” that was already underway in order to address AUSTRAC’s concerns but couldn’t determine the potential financial impact of this program.