Australian racing and wagering giant Tabcorp has reported a 7.0% year-on-year decline in net profit after tax to AU$185 million (US$144 million) for the six months to 31 December, primarily impacted by COVID-19.
Publishing its 1H21 financial results on Wednesday, Tabcorp revealed a group-wide decline in revenues of just 1.5% to AU$2.87 billion (US$2.22 billion) for the period and a 6.2% fall in EBITDA to AU$560 million (US$434 million), most of which was felt via its Gaming Services division.
Revenues within Gaming Services were down 51.0% year-on-year to AU$73 million (US$57 million) and EBITDA by 66.7% to AU$22 million (US$17 million) as a result of licensed venues operating under social distancing restrictions and, in the case of greater Melbourne, only reopening in November 2020. Victoria delivers around 30% of the business unit’s revenues, Tabcorp said.
More resilient were the company’s Lotteries & Keno and Wagering & Media segments.
Lotteries & Keno registered a 1.6% increase in revenues to AU$1.61 billion (US$1.25 billion) and 5.4% improvement in EBITDA to AU$311 million (US$241 million), including 12.8% growth in Keno revenues “supported by a very strong digital performance.”
Wagering & Media revenues were AU$1.19 billion (US$922 million), up 0.8% year-on-year, while EBITDA fell 3.0% to AU$227 million (US$176 million). Once again, digital led the way during COVID-19 with digital turnover up 43% and digital revenue up 34%. Tabcorp’s digital customer base also grew 17%.
“Retail remains a profitable and valuable channel, however, the COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions (especially in Victoria) contributed to retail turnover declining 28%,” it added. “Excluding Victoria, retail turnover was down 9%.”
Commenting on the company’s half year results, Tabcorp Managing Director and CEO David Attenborough said, “We are experiencing a strong recovery following the recent market challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact Tabcorp’s group earnings in 1H21, with the retail closures and restrictions, especially in Victoria, having a material impact. However, we are pleased with the way our teams and partners responded to the substantial operational challenges the pandemic presented.
“COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated the importance of serving customers with a seamless, multi-channel experience. Investments made to modernize our digital offering in recent years drove significant benefits.”