Lottery operator Jumbo Interactive cashes in on large jackpots

Lottery operator Jumbo Interactive cashes in on large jackpots

Shares in online lottery operator Jumbo Interactive (ASX: JIN) have surged nearly eight percent after it released a trading update which forecast a rise in first half profit of more than double the previous period.

The trading update for the half year to December 31, 2018, forecasts net profit after tax (NPAT) of $11.8 million which is a rise of 123 percent along with an increase in total transactional value (TTV) of 64 percent to $145.8 million and a revenue increase of 55 percent to $29.9 million.

The company says the strong growth is being driven by increased customer activity on the new software platform which performed well during a run of large jackpots in the first half of this financial year.

"The strong performance in the first half is driven by continual improvements in our software platform and online marketing that have engaged existing customers as well as acquired new customers, taking full advantage of the favourable jackpot activity", says Mr Mike Veverka, CEO and founder of Jumbo Interactive (pictured).

The frequency of large jackpots above $15 million, which is expected to be 21 by year's end, and the average large jackpot value of $38.3 million (compared to $26.7 million in the prior corresponding period) helped drive the strong forecasts.

The company operates the website www.ozlotteries.com in Australia under agreements with the Tabcorp Group (ASX: TAH), following the merger with the Tatts Group in December 2017.

Jumbo Interactive is number 37 on Business News Australia's Brisbane Top 50 Companies 2018 index.

Jumbo Interactive listed on the ASX in 1999, sold its first lottery ticket on the internet in 2000 and has ridden the rise in popularity and convenience of purchasing tickets online.

In 2012, Jumbo released a lottery app for the iPhone to tap into the rise of mobile phone use and since then it has developed features for the Apple watch and Google Voice.

Jumbo also recently launched Lotto Party which is designed to promote social group play of the lottery and it has also entered the Lottery SaaS (Software as a Service) market with the signing of its first customer to use its "Powered by Jumbo" lottery software.

At around midday (AEST) JIN shares were trading eight percent higher at $8.28.

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