UK – Sportech well positioned following ‘transformation’ in first halfBy Phil - 24 August 2017
Sportech is well positioned following a ‘transformational’ six months which has seen expansion in Hong Kong, Denmark, the Netherlands and Connecticut in the US.
Adjusted profit before tax improved by £1.5m to £1.1m during the first half of the year.
The Group has cash of £76.2m at 30 June 2017, and no bank debt following the cancellation of the bank facility, which totalled £75m at 30 June 2016. It also completed the £83m sale of The Football Pools announced on 26 June 2017. Total Group EBITDA of £3.9m from continuing operations.
Ian Penrose, Chief Executive of Sportech, highlighted the successful VAT claim with final receipt of outstanding cash in March 2017 taking refund to £97m.
“2017 has seen the transformation of the Group continue. 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,” he added. “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.”
The company’s revenue was up by five per cent. Sportech Racing and Digital generated EBITDA of £3.9m, down £0.9m, whilst Sportech Venues generated EBITDA of £1.7m.