21st of February 2010 Author: Glo Wood
Disappointing performance from Aussie online casino and poker operations
Con Kafataris, the owner of Australian online gambling group Centrebet and a 34 year industry veteran, will be focusing more on his online interests in future following a decision this week to close racing subsidiary CK Racing.
The managing director of Centrebet said he would close CK Racing after the Easter racing carnival this (2010) year because of regulatory reforms around corporate rivals and the changing composition of traditional punters.
Kafataris presided over the posting of Centrebet's current results, which recorded a first-half net profit of A$6.3 million, up 19 percent on the same time last year.
In the first half, Centrebet's online turnover rose 24 percent while revenue was up 19 percent.
Overall revenues fell 7.6 percent year-on-year to A$31.9 million due to lower revenue from poker and casino activities, and a poor performance from CK Racing.
Centrebet earned more than A$1 million in revenue from TAB fixed-odds management and expects to earn at least A$2 million for the full year.
The European wagering business was hit by the strong Australian dollar, which reduced revenue by A$1.8 million and earnings by A$1.1 million.
Centrebet said it had appointed advisers, Caliburn, to scout potential mergers and acquisitions and did not rule out positioning itself as a takeover target.
"In the past six to 12 months there has been a lot of talk globally about what consolidation and M&A opportunities there will be," Kafataris said.
"We continue to assess what options are available, be that buying opportunities or opportunities to bring businesses together.
"My job is to do what's best for our shareholders."
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