Australia’s Sportsbet posts impressive H1 numbers

Paddy Power Betfair's Australian bookmaking subsidiary Sportsbet has posted impressive H1-2017 numbers that show the company's performance in revenue and customer growth is ahead of competitors like Tabcorp.

The Australian Financial Review reports that Sportsbet's underlying operating profit in the six months to June hit GBP 46 million from almost GBP 1.7 billion staked via its digital wagering services and call centre, and the company's active customers in Oz rose 13 percent to 688,000, compared to the 475,000 customers Tabcorp revealed in its full 2017 financial results last week.

Tabcorp announced a A$178.9 million full-year net profit before significant items last Friday.

The underlying profit and revenue results for Sportsbet were up 78 percent and 35 percent on H1-2016, accounting for 25 percent of Paddy Power Betfair global operating profit.

Sportsbet spent A$62 million on sales and marketing efforts in Australia in the six months to June, but has warned that it will soon have to cease much of its heavy advertising during live matches on television between 5pm and 8.30pm due to federal government's planned restrictions, which could be implemented by March next year.

Sportsbet also faces the introduction of a 15 percent betting point of consumption tax that was introduced in South Australia on July 1 and is likely to be emulated by other Australian territories. The company has estimated that at current revenue levels the cost of this additional tax will be A$6.6 million annually.

Revenue has also been severely impacted by government bans on in-play betting which almost halved revenues, cutting them to around 8 percent of overall business.

Despite these challenges, Sportsbet still did better than rival William Hill Australia, which last week announced an 85 percent fall in net profit to A$1.1 million despite a 28 percent rise in the amount wagered by Australian punters with the group to A$1.48 billion.

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