Tabcorp issues US$431.2m shares offer

The Covid-19 pandemic had a major impact on the operator's finances.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a major impact on the operator's finances.

The Australian gaming company has posted a 4.8 per cent year-on-year drop in revenues due to the pandemic.  

Australia.- Lotteries and gaming operator Tabcorp has announced a AU$600 million (US$431.2 million) underwritten accelerated entitlement offer of shares after posting negative financial results.

The proceeds will be used to pay down existing bank debt facilities and to strengthen Tabcorp’s balance sheet, providing financial flexibility in what the company described as “uncertain times.”

Tabcorp expects to announce the outcome of the entitlement offer on Monday August 24.

The Australian gaming and lottery operator also presented its annual financial results for the 12 months that ended on June 30.

Tabcorp Managing Director and CEO David Attenborough said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been very challenging for Tabcorp’s people, partners and customers, and materially impacted our FY20 results.

“However, the strength of our diversified gambling entertainment group, and the value of our investments in integration and digital transformation, have been clearly demonstrated by our lotteries business delivering a strong performance and the digital growth in both wagering and keno.”

The group reported a 4.8 per cent year-on-year drop in revenues, to AU$5,224 million (US$3,754 million), and EBITDA of AU$995 million (US$715 million), down 11.5 per cent on the same period last year, “primarily due to Covid-19.”

Lottery sales were up during Covid-19 restrictions, but Tabcorp’s wagering & media, keno and gaming services were heavily impacted by retail closures in the second half of the fiscal year.

Wagering and media revenues were AU$2,084 million (US$1,497 million), down 10.1 per cent on the previous year. Lottery and keno revenues were AU$2,917 million (US$2,095 million), up 1.8 per cent.

Gaming Services revenues were AU$221 million (US$158.7 million), down 27.3 per cent, and EBITDA was AU$84 million (US$60.3 million), which meant a 42.5 per cent drop since the previous fiscal year.

The company said in a release: “The lotteries result reflects investments in digital and retail channels and the evolution of Tabcorp’s game portfolio to appeal to a diverse and growing customer base. An extra 400,000 Australians became active registered lotteries players during FY20, taking the total to 3.7 million.”

Attenborough said: “Covid-19 restrictions meant that hotels, clubs and TAB agencies were closed for significant periods of time during FY20. This has heavily impacted our wagering & media, gaming services and keno operations. We continue to support our venue partners and have waived more than AU$100 million in fees to date.”

Tabcorp said the business “was heavily impacted by the temporary closure of venues from 23 March 2020, which reopened in June in all states bar Victoria under strict social distancing protocols.”

The board declared no final dividend for the period.

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