U.K.-Based Betting Operator Sportech's Adjusted Pre-Tax Profits Down Slightly
Betting operator Sportech "suffered the twin effects" of extreme U.S. weather and a "strong pound, holding back first-half earnings," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. But the group is "eyeing up its first dividend payment to shareholders" if its £93M ($154M) tribunal award from its "claim against HM Revenue & Customs for overpayments of value added tax goes through." Sportech, "best known" as the operator of the U.K. football pools, makes "nearly two-thirds of its revenues" from the U.S., providing online betting for horse racing. Those U.S. operations were "hit by the cancellation of 280 race meetings in the first half of the year, compared with 81 in the same period" in '13. The pound's "strength against the dollar meant adjusted pre-tax profit fell slightly" to £6.3M ($10.5M). Revenues were down from £54.4M ($90.2M) to £52.6M ($87.3M) (FT, 8/21).