Strong 2016 Reported By Sportech


02nd March, 2017 at 16:50:53

Betting technology provider trebles profits.

UK betting technology provider Sportech plc has posted a strong set of FY-2016 results, flagging the following highlights:

* Profit before tax up 216% at 30.7 million (2015: 9.7m);

* Results in line with expectations with overall EBITDA up 3% to 23.8 million (2015: 23.1 million);

* Victory in the eight-year VAT judicial struggle with HM Revenue and Customs, resulting in a 97 million refund;

* Plans to return capital to shareholders by way of a tender offer for approximately 20 million of Sportech ordinary shares, representing a buyback of around 10% of the issued share capital;

* Transformation in group financing with adjusted net cash balances at 31 December 2016 of 36.5 million compared to adjusted net debt of 57.7 million in 2015. The latter reduces by 21.5 million once the Spot the Ball tax and fees are paid, and following receipt of the remaining 3 million;

* Balance sheet strengthened by 22.6 million despite a detailed review of assets leading to a non-cash impairment of 63.7 million;

* Adjusted profit before tax is up by 17% to 13.8 million (2015: 11.8 million)

" On a constant currency basis, EBITDA, excluding the closed collector channel, remained level with 2015 at 23.8 million, made up of:

Sportech Racing and Digital - 9.4 million - down 300,000 compared with the same period a year ago.

Sportech Venues - 2.7 million, O 500,000 down y-o-y.

Football Pools - up 5% at 15 million.

Post the reporting period, the company announced the sale of its The Football Pools subsidiary for 83 million in a deal with a private equity fund.

Group chief executive Ian Penrose said in his report Thursday:

"This has been a transformational year. We have moved into a strong net cash position and have today announced details of a return of capital to shareholders. We have also announced the sale of our Football Pools business for 83 million, following a highly successful modernisation programme.

"The Group is now in a strong position and more focused to take advantage of the strategic positioning of its predominantly US based businesses."

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