Sportech H1 2017 revenue grows following company overhaul

By Robert Simmons
Pooled sports betting operator Sportech PLC have reported a 5% rise in its year on year revenue for the first half of 2017, which CEO Ian Penrose sited as further evidence of the companies “continued transformation” taking place over the past 12 months.

Sportech’s revenue for the first half of 2017 grew to £36.4m, surpassing the £34.7m figure posted by the company during the same period of 2016. The firm also confirmed a rise in its cash position, which grew to £76.2m at 30th June 2017 following the repayment of over £60m in debts.

Although Sportech’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped by 5% to €2.9m, the company stated that adjusted profit before tax had improved from a loss of £400,000 in the first half of 2016 to a positive figure of £1.1m in the same period of 2017.

The first half of this year has been a busy period for Sportech, who were successful in their long running legal dispute with HMRC concerning the repayment of £97m in VAT that it had incorrectly paid to the government over historic Spot the Ball games. In May the company also announced the sale of the Football Pools to private equity firm OpCapita, in a deal estimated to be worth over £83m.

In a statement released with the figures, Ian Penrose was keen to focus on the companies successes over this period: “We were successful with the £97m VAT legal case in the Supreme Court, we modernised and sold the Football Pools for £83m, repaid over £60m in debt and returned £21m to shareholders with further substantial shareholder returns still to come from the £76m cash balance.

“Following significant investment into our technology and licensing, Sportech has now established a strategic base to grow our business globally through our unique regulated gaming business based in North America together with our expanding presence in Asia.

“We have transitioned our business away from the UK market, which is encountering regulatory headwinds, and await with interest the Supreme Court’s decision in the US on the future of sports betting.

“With our strong balance sheet and cash balances, we have the resources to fund attractive growth opportunities, meet ongoing commitments and deliver substantial returns to shareholders.”


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