JACKPOTS LURE PUNTERS, LIFT TATTS PROFITS

JACKPOTS LURE PUNTERS, LIFT TATTS PROFITS
TATTS Group (ASX: TTS) has lifted its profit and revenue in the half year to December, fuelled by an exceptional jackpot run.

Australia's largest non-casino gambling group reported a 6.2 per cent increase in net profit after tax to $147.9 million and saw a 6.5 per cent rise in revenue to $1.61 billion from the prior corresponding period.

Online has become the group's star performer, described as 'nothing short of outstanding' in a statement to the market. The lotteries division saw a 34.8 per cent lift in online performance, and wagering sourced 28.8 per cent of sales online.

More than 1 million mobile devices are now equipped with Tatts apps and websites average 3.5 million visits per month.

Winning streaks hit home too, where an unprecedented 24 jackpots at or above $15 million were behind a record-breaking performance of Tatts' lotteries, its revenue rising 9.6 per cent to $1.1 billion.

Tatts CEO and managing director Robbie Cooke says work on the company's revamp over the past few years is finally coming to fruition.

"The momentum we are gaining from these digital initiatives in both our lotteries and wagering operations is truly exciting," says Cooke.

"The outcomes in the two businesses are pleasing for different reasons.

"Wagering is now generating close to 30 per cent of its sales online and, even off that high base, digital sales grew an impressive 20.2 per cent - not an easy feat.

"Lotteries online growth rate is a massive 35 per cent but is coming from a lower base with digital sales around 13 per cent - the promise here can be seen in the online performance of our new game 'Set for Life' and the expanded 'Lucky Lotteries', which are driving 22 per cent and 17 per cent of their sales respectively from digital channels."

Cooke says UBET stores - the bricks and mortar's rebranded from Tatts Bet just over six months ago - are the second most profitable businesses in their field and saw an overall turnover increase of 3 per cent to $2.14 billion.

"The business also maintained the highest average win-rate in the market and claims the mantle as the second most profitable in the field - a fact that often gets overlooked by pundits," he says.

"This was achieved despite continuing softness in our sizable regional Queensland market where the mining downturn and drought continue to bite."

Tatts will pay an interim dividend of 9.5c per share, 5c higher than the previous dividend.


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