London-listed online and land gambling group Leisure & Gaming plc says its first half of the year has produced results that meet expectations, with an estimated earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) of Euro 1.2 million. And Italian customers of the group can look forward to online poker action before the end of this (2008) year.
 
The betting and gaming group said it will continue to focus its efforts on the Italian market and expects to have its full estate of Italian shops operating under new Bersani licences by the start of the football season in mid-August.
 
In bullish mood, chairman Philip Parker told reporters this week that the company expects to be able to offer online poker throughout its retail network and to Italian customers online before the end of the year. "We are in a very strong position to continue to grow and capitalise on the many opportunities in the Italian market," he added.
 
Top management changes are also in progress, with chief executive officer Henry Birch stepping down from the Board to pursue other interests and Richard Creed, who was at one time a director of BetonSports, appointed as his successor. Creed is currently the CFO of the group. The financial activities of the group will continue to be supervised by Creed, with Paul Milburn, the finance director of the Betshop Group, handling the department.