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Online betting strong for Tatts

AAP logoAAP 17/08/2016 Trevor Chappell

Lotteries and wagering firm Tatts Group will focus on the rapid enhancement of its online operations after strong growth in the area last financial year.

Tatts on Thursday reported a 7.2 per cent fall in annual profit for 2015/16 to $233.8 million, adversely affected by long-running pokies compensation litigation and a loss on the sale of its UK slots business, Talarius.

Tatts had to repay $540.5 million plus interest to the Victorian government after losing a compensation battle, and took a $12.8 million loss on the Talarius sale.

However the underlying business remained strong, with net profit from continuing operations rising 3.8 per cent to $263.4 million on strong digital sales and a big rise in revenue from lotteries.

"We are achieving online growth never accomplished in the business before. In both wagering and lotteries our digital traction is outstanding," Tatts chief executive Robbie Cooke said.

"Looking forward into the year, innovation remains top of our agenda as we pursue organic growth across all our distribution channels.

"We are now in a cycle of continuous and rapid enhancement of all our digital assets - a significant step forward for our business."

Mr Cooke said Tatts' lotteries and wagering apps were now installed on 1.5 million devices, up from about 800,000 a year ago.

In fiscal 2016, Tatts' lotteries operations posted record results, with revenue rising 8.2 per cent to $2.14 billion, boosted by 45 jackpots at $15 million or more.

Lotteries' digital sales jumped 32.2 per cent, and wagering's digital sales rose 22.5 per cent.

Tatts now generates more than 30 per cent of its wagering sales and 13.5 per cent of lotteries sales online.

Its UBET wagering business generated growth in turnover of 4.1 per cent, up from a decline of 0.9 per cent in fiscal 2015, but revenue and earnings were lower.

Tatts gave no specific profit guidance for fiscal 2017 but said trading in the first month of the current financial year was trending positively.

Shares in Tatts closed two cents, or 0.5 per cent, lower at $3.99.

LOTTERIES, DIGITAL STRONG DESPITE TATTS PROFIT DROP

* Annual net profit down 7.2pct to $233.8mln

* Revenue up 3.8pct to $3.03bln

* Final dividend of eight cents per share, fully franked, up from 7.5 cents, taking the full-year distribution to 17.5 cents.

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