Friday March 11,21016 : CZECH BETTING GROUIP BUOYED BY ONLINE ACTIVITY
Fortuna Entertainment's FY 2015 shows stellar performances from internet and mobile operations.
Online and mobile wagering – especially on in-play betting – buoyed the 2015 results of Czech gambling group Fortuna Entertainment, which released its preliminary results week.
The predominantly sports-betting group reported the following highlights:
* Net profit up 22.5 percent y-o-y to Euro19.5 million, although this was diluted to even when the impact of a 2014 VAT dispute with the Polish government is factored in;
* Fixed odds betting stakes up 26 percent at Euro 847.7 million;
* Betting revenue up 11 percent at Euro 138.7 million;
* Lottery stakes up 17.8 percent to Euro 19.7 million, and revenue up 15.5 percent to Euro 8.7 million;
* Overall group earnings of Euro 27.2 million;
* Online betting revenues increased by 26.4 percent year-on-year to Euro 84.7 million, thanks mainly to stellar performances in mobile and in-play betting, but the company acknowledged that the abolition of online handling fees in Slovakia, along with sterner enforcement against illegal operators in Poland also contributed to a healthier legal environment;
* Retail activity underperformed, with revenues declining 7 percent to Euro 54 million and the group shuttered a number of its retail outlets across Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic;
* The Czech betting market continued to be the main contributor to Fortuna's success at 54.5 percent of wagering, with Slovakia second on 30.7 percent
CEO Per Widerstrom said in a report that he expects sports bet wagering to cross the Euro 1 billion benchmark in 2016, but warned that earnings could decline by as much as 15 percent as a result of new taxes imposed by the Czech government, and more investment in the group's operational platform.
This means no dividends for investors this year or next, which is unlikely to please the company's backers.