International betting technology firm Sportech has released its final results for FY2017, in which it has outlined a US focused approach moving forward.
With 2017’s figures highlighting statutory pre-tax losses of £23.2m, revenues were placed at £66.2m, two percent lower than 2016 in constant currency, which a large portion accounted for by its Racing and Digital and Venues divisions, £35.4m and £31.6m respectively.
Adjusted EBITDA for the period was reported as £6.7m, down from the previous years £8.5m, with the firm now believing it is in a good position to take advantage of a potential legalised US sports betting market, following corporate restructuring, completion of a cost reduction programme and a comprehensive financial review.
Sportech, who terminated its formal sales process on March 14 of this year, also detailed the sale of its Sportech Racing BV division for €3.25m to RBP Luxembourg, following the sale of the Football Pools last year.
A point Richard McGuire, Non-Executive Chairman, addressed in his statement, when highlighting a future US focus: “The Football Pools represented the mainstay of the Group’s EBITDA and in particular, the bulk of the UK earnings stream.
“The sale completed in June 2017 and now the Group’s earnings are around 80% denominated in USD, with GBP representing around 10%, Euro’s 8%, and CAD 2%. The board anticipates further growth in USD contributions going forward, and the Board will be evaluating whether the reporting currency for the group should become the US dollar.
“Following the sale of the Football Pools and significant capital returns to shareholders, it became inevitable that having a UK-based executive management team was not an appropriate structure for the Group going forward.
“Following the announced decisions by UK-based senior executives to leave the now US-focused Group, a cost reduction exercise commenced to streamline the UK cost base. I am pleased to report that the Board has executed on this plan and has reduced the UK corporate cost base significantly going forward.”
Before commenting on the regulatory framework and wider issue of US sports betting, alongside an imminent sportsbook launch: “The possibility of the US market moving towards a broader regulation of sports gaming continues at pace with a number of states preparing to enact legislation if the US Supreme Court permits.
“Furthermore, the governing bodies of certain significant US sports have lobbied hard for an opening-up of legislation.
“Through the Group’s existing regulatory, commercial and customer network, the Board believe there are significant opportunities to leverage these relationships and as a result of this, significant time has been invested in assessing the optimal platform for Sportech’s B2C and B2B businesses to capitalise on this potential momentous change.
“The Board anticipates announcing the launch of a Sportsbook utilising a reputable third-party vendor in H1-2018.”
Andrew Gaughan, CEO of Sportech, added: “2017 was a year of material change for Sportech and 2018 is shaping up to be one of significant opportunity. Our recurring revenue in our Racing and Digital business is further being enhanced by additional sales opportunities and commingling along with the growth in our Bump 50-50 business.
“We have an enhanced platform for growth in our Venues division. Both should see benefit from a liberalisation of sports wagering in the US.”