Sportech enjoys successful H1 as divestments help ensure profit

| By Marese O'Hagan
Betting technology provider Sportech has reported revenue of £13.4m ($18.5m/ €15.6m) in H1, a 69.9% rise year-on-year on a constant currency basis.

When compared to stated results from 2020, the revenue rose by 59.5%.

A majority of the revenue was generated by venues, which brought in £11.5m. This was an increase of 69.5% compared to H1 2020. Lotteries made up the remaining £1.9m, a number that rose by 75.0%.

No figures were provided for corporate costs, sports betting investment or exchange rate impact.

However, Sportech’s cost of sales totalled £6.3m, which left gross profit at £7.0m. This was an increase of 77.3% year-on-year.

Marketing and distribution costs, at £227,000, brought the total down further to £6.8m, but the business also made £2.5m in other income.

However, operating costs of £8.2m left the operating profit at £1.1m, an increase of £9.7m compared to the £8.3m loss it made in H1 2020.

Most of this was made up of staff costs, at £3.3m. Professional fees and licenses came to £1.4m, while property was the third-highest cost at £1.4m. The remaining costs were made up of IT, travel and entertainment, bank transactions and other expenses.

Finance income at £230,000 offset the finance costs, which were £154,000, causing the total profit before taxation to be £1.2m.

Taxation – coming to £608,000 – brought the total profit from continuing operations in H1 to £632,000, a yearly increase of £9.5m compared to 2020’s £8.9m loss.

However, Sportech also noted its profit after tax for discontinued operations, which was £23.3m. This brought the total net profit for the period to £23.9m, an increase of £34.6m year-on-year.

Discontinued operations refers to the sale of Sportech’s Global Tote business to BetMakers, in a deal worth £30.9m, which took place after 99.8% of Sportech stakeholders voted in favor of the deal. It also refers to the acquisition of Bump 50:50 by currency business Canadian Banknote for £5.7m

The Global Tote acquisition generated £18.6m in net cash disposed of and disposal costs, while Bump 50:50 made up the remaining £4.7m.

This was also the first set of H1 results since Sportech’s rejection of a proposed general takeover by Standard General, in which the business was valued at £53.8m.

Last month, Sportech’s chief executive Richard McGuire and chief financial officer Tom Hearne announced their intention to depart in a series of planned reductions in scale. Both departures are effective today (9 September).

Sportech said the changes come after a complete evaluation of the group’s business lines, as well as a reduction in the operational scale following the disposal of the Global Tote business and Bump 50:50.

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