- · Results in line with expectations with EBITDA of £23.1m (2014: £24.0m)
- · Balance sheet strengthened with net debt down by 10%
- · Investment in technology delivering new international customers
- · Expansion into providing lottery products for professional sports teams
- · Football Pools division nearing completion of modernization program
- · Expansion of venues strategy into California
- · Disposal of online interests in New Jersey for a pre-tax gain of £8.1m
- · £97m VAT refund appeal to be held in Court of Appeal on 7/8 April
Ian Penrose, Chief Executive of Sportech, said: "The group has reached an important stage in its development, as our US business makes continued progress on many fronts, and our UK Football Pools business arrives at the inflection point of expected stability after years of modernization. Overall, the Board is pleased with the strategic position that each of its divisions has secured, but recognizes that each division will also require further investment, ahead of anticipated revenue and profit benefits, to better enable them to deliver their full potential."
"We have invested substantial time into developing our activities and licensing position in the US. During the year, we sold our iGaming interest in New Jersey, realizing a threefold return on our investment after only three months of operation. We continue to evaluate opportunities to deliver the full potential of our divisions whilst ensuring we maintain prudent financial ratios. In this regard, over the past twelve months we have considered approaches for the Group as well as for The Football Pools. Despite this, we have remained focused on our operations and we will continue to investigate any proposals that recognize the value of the inherent potential of these businesses. We look forward to moving into a year of growth in 2016," he remarked.
Financial and operational highlights:
- · EBITDA at £23.1m (2014: £24.0m), in line with expectations.
- · The group's balance sheet strengthened with net debt reducing by 10% (£6.1m) to £57.7m.
- · Statutory profit before tax increased to £9.7m (2014: loss of £20.0m, primarily due to non-cash impairment of the Football Pools goodwill).
- · On a constant currency basis, revenue declined by 6% and EBITDA declined by 5%. 2014 revenue and EBITDA were £106.4m and £24.3m respectively at constant currency.
Sportech Racing and Digital
- · EBITDA growth of £0.5m to £8.6m (2014: £8.1m).
- · Continued investment in technology attracting new international customers and successful installation of new hardware and software for Betfred (Totepool).
- · Opening of office in Asia delivering benefits with new contracts.
- · EBITDA of £2.8m (2014: £3.2m), affected by the previously highlighted severe winter weather in Connecticut and year-long closure for refurbishment of a key Jai-Alai venue.
- · Officially opened on 28 January 2016 the only sports bar, restaurant and betting venue in San Diego.
- · Discussions continue regarding expanded gaming (slots) in Connecticut.
- · EBITDA of £15.2m (2014: £16.6m) in line with expectations.
- · Ongoing improvements in technology platforms and processes.
- · The division is now set for stability and growth.
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