International betting technology firm Sportech, operator of the Winners and Bobby V’s betting and sports bar venues in Connecticut and Bump 50:50 in-stadia wagering product, has published its final results for the year ended December 31 2019.
According to the firm, revenues increased by 2% to $75m (2018: $73.5m), while adjusted EBITDA (prior to sports betting investment) reduced by 5% to $10.8m (2018: $11.4m). Adjusted pre-tax profit from continuing operations (prior to sports betting investment) was $1.16m (2018: $1.32m).
The company noted a statutory pre-tax loss from continuing operations of $9.7m (2018: $3.1m) which included a $5.8m impairment to its Stamford sports bar asset.
It also revealed that capex had been reduced by -24%, with corporate costs lessened by -28%. Meanwhile, cash generated from operational activities increased by +27% and Bump 50:50: achieved record revenue growth.
CEO Richard McGuire said: “We continue to progress our strategic agenda focused on driving further development of our group platforms following 2019 growth opportunity investments, whilst managing the inherent cost base.
“Despite the challenging retail environment and excluding some cost measures taken to reposition the group, our performance in 2019 has been as expected. In particular, we have recorded positive progress with key performance metrics beyond the typically focused, EBITDA measure; namely cash generation from operational activities, capex reductions and delivery of a lower operational cost base going forward.”
McGuire took a more cautious tone on 2020 trading which, despite being satisfactory in the early months, looks unclear going forward due to the coronavirus pandemic. He stated: “Given the uncertainty as to how the current COVID-19 situation will develop it is difficult to give accurate guidance with any certainty for the full-year.
“The situation remains highly uncertain, but clearly COVID-19 will have a significant impact on our business given certain of our businesses are dependent on sporting events continuing, even if behind closed doors.
“On Sunday March 15, we took the precautionary action to close our Connecticut retail venues for an initial period through to the end of March. On Monday March 16 the Connecticut Governor announced closures of bars, restaurants and casinos through to the end of April.”
McGuire said Sportech will continue to update the market as appropriate, adding: “Understandably, the period of disruption is uncertain, but having strengthened our online capabilities during 2019 we are better positioned to deliver a broader service wherever possible.
“In this period of concern and uncertainty, we initiated a Sportech COVID-19 response task force and continue to work closely with our clients and our staff to ensure, as best we can, a combination of continuity where permissible and precautionary safety measures.
“Notwithstanding the uncertain short-term outlook, we remain focused on maintaining the Group’s financial strength with £11m ($12.7m) net cash and no debt as of the end of February 2020.