Posted 2/24/11 : Q2 and H1 results all going in the right direction
 
Veteran online gambling group Sportingbet.com has presented positive numbers in its unaudited results for the second quarter and half year ended 31 January 2011
 
 Key highlights for the quarter include:
 
* Like for like amounts wagered in Europe up 19 percent.
 
* Strong growth in Australian operations with NGR up 73 percent, contributing 27 percent of Group sports NGR.
 
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* Emerging Markets division growing fast, with NGR up 67 percent.
 
* Mobile phone product now accounts for 10 percent of active customers.
 
* In-play betting growth of 27 percent – now contributing 67 percent of European sports revenue (2009/10: 60 percent).
 
* Landmark sponsorship deal announced with Cheltenham Racecourse for its Queen Mother Champion Chase race until 2015.
 
* Russian joint venture: IT build commenced.
 
* Net cash of GBP25.5 million (2009/10: GBP27.3 million).
 
* Interim dividend up 20 percent.
 
In the quarter, amounts wagered reached GBP 555.3 million (previous Q2: 502.3 million) and net revenue of GBP 56.8 million was recorded (previous Q2: 52.6 million). EBITDA for Q2 came in at GBP14.5 million, compared to the previous Q2 when GBP13.6 million was posted.
 
For the half year to 31 January 2011, amounts wagered were 1 069.2 million, compared with GBP965.5 in the previous first half. Net revenues were 107.9 million compared to 101.2 million, and EBITDA reached GBP25.8 million (GBP23.3 million)
 
Group chief executive Andrew McIver reported: "Strong growth in Australia, Emerging Markets and Turkey more than offset the recessionary weakness of Europe, particularly notable in our larger markets of Greece and Spain. Once again this demonstrates the attractiveness of a geographically diverse operation.
 
“EBITDA in the quarter increased from GBP13.6 million to GBP14.5 million, despite European sports margin being below its long term average. For both the quarter and the half, operating profit was ahead of last year and in line with management expectations.
 
“We continue to monitor regulatory developments closely and look forward to taking full advantage of opportunities as markets regulate. Our experience in such markets is that whilst there is a short term impact from tax on existing profitability, this recovers as regulated markets grow disproportionately. Over and above that you gain the benefit of the continuity of future revenue streams that regulation brings. 
 
“The compelling underlying growth fundamentals of the industry, based on ever increasing broadband penetration and customer confidence in transacting over the internet and mobile, coupled with exciting opportunities as the industry consolidates and markets regulate gives us confidence, even in these recessionary times, about the continued growth prospects of our business.
 
“The third quarter has started well and in particular we have seen a rebound in the softer European margin experienced in the second quarter."