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Tab NZ misses budget targets amid cost of living pinch

| By Richard Mulligan
TAB New Zealand missed budget in terms of turnover and revenue in May as softening economic conditions outpaced the easing of lockdown measures.

In its monthly trading update, the betting business said turnover of NZ$202.7m (USD$124.3m/€119.4m/£103.5m) was 3.6% below budget and gross betting revenue (GBR) of $32.0m was down on budget by 4.4%. The gross betting margin (GBM) of 15.8% was 0.1% below budget.

Reported profit for the month was $10.8m, which was $2.4m below budget. Operating expenses were $10.6m for the month, which was $0.4 above budget.

Tab NZ said the key performance results for May were in line with the overall positive trends of the 2021-22 financial year.

Average NZ thoroughbred starters per race was 10.7, slightly above the year-to-date average of 10.6, while the peak turnover for a domestic meeting was $1.9m on 14 May for the Campbell’s Infrastructure Cup Day at Arawa Park.

The top sporting event by turnover for April was the Warriors vs Sharks NRL match at $0.58m. Tennis was the leading in-play sporting code accounting for 25% of in-play turnover while rugby league was the top pre-match sporting code accounting for 24% of pre-match turnover.

A Tab NZ spokesperson said: “The impact of the current Omicron outbreak eased slightly compared to April, with New Zealand at the orange setting in the Covid-19 Protection Framework. This led to an uplift in foot traffic in the retail and hospitality sector through May, although not to the same levels of 12 months ago.

“Turnover dipped against budget in May, with the gross betting margin also slightly below budget, while softening economic conditions also played a factor as customers adjusted to the rising cost of living.”

For the year to date, from 1 August 2021 to 31 May 2022, reported profit was $135.2m, which was $1.6m below budget and $12.0m below last year. Operating expenses were $97.0m, which was $3.3m below budget and $2.3m above last year.

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