Leisure and Gaming plc, the European betting group with extensive Italian interests released its full year results this week, accompanying the announcement with the appointment of a new financial director whose name will be familiar with industry veterans as a former director of the now defunct BetonSports.com – Richard Creed (52).
 
L&G reported that it has reduced its losses of last year from Euro 10.3 million last time to Euro 2 million for the year PokerStars2007. It reported net win of Euro 24.7 million against Euro 14.3 million last time, on turnover of Euro 109.1 million. Gross profit was Euro 3.5 million. A statement from the company pointed out that “…consolidated group comparison with performance in 2006 bears little insight” as 2006 accounts included revenues from lucrative US business, since abandoned as a result of the UIGEA.
 
Chief executive Henry Birch said: “Having made changes to the cost and operational structure of our business, we believe that the business is in a stronger position than a year ago.”
 
The profitability of Betshop's Italian operations was adversely impacted by sporting results, especially in football,  that went the wrong way for the company.  But on the positive side an exclusive new marketing partnership has been signed which will allow for the Betshop brand to be exploited in Greece.
 
Announcing the appointment to the board of Creed and Neil Craven, Birch said: “We are delighted to appoint Richard Creed and Neil Craven to the board. We believe Richard’s experience in the gaming industry and over 25 years experience of corporate finance and accountancy will be a huge benefit to the company. Equally, Neil's successful track record as an entrepreneur and more recently as an investor in AIM-listed companies will strengthen the Board.”
 
Creed replaces Michael Baird as Finance Director at L&G, and was formerly finance director of BetonSports plc and a partner with Casson Beckman, now part of Baker Tilly.  He is a qualified accountant who has extensive gaming industry and corporate finance experience.
 
Neil Craven, is a shareholder in L&G with years of experience at senior management levels in telecommunications and fund management.
 
Birch said the company is confident that the measures and restructuring undertaken in the latter half of 2007 together with ongoing operational initiatives will continue to deliver profitability throughout 2008