Good results for L&G

The online and land betting group Leisure & Gaming plc has released Q1 2009 results to 31st March 2009 showcasing amounts wagered up 36 percent to Euro 42.1 million (2008: Euro 30.9 million), while net win was up 38 percent to Euro 8.7 million (2008: Euro 6.3million) and the net win margin was steady at 20.6 percent (2008: 20.3 percent).

Gross profit was up 33 percent to Euro 2.8 million (2008: Euro 2.1 million), with overheads almost unchanged at Euro 1 million and net profits before interest and tax up at Euro 1.8 million (2008: Euro 1 million).

At the end of the quarter cash balances were Euro 3 million.

L&G said its Italian and Cypriot partner networks remained productive and the group enjoyed continued success with poker in Italy and continued growth in its Greek online business. The gaming group also confirmed its sponsorship deal with Serie A soccer team Palermo (see previous InfoPowa report).

Management also announced a proposed reduction of share premium account which will allow the group in due course to pay dividends to shareholders or buy back shares. Audited full year 2008 results will not be available until next week.

Chief Executive Officer Richard Creed said: "This has been an excellent quarter with favourable results in sports events giving a net win margin of 31.4 percent and growth in all performance indicators. The partner networks in Italy and Cyprus have remained constant as partners tend not to move as they usually benefit from deals covering the football season, however, there has been steady growth in the online activities in Greece.

"Poker has continued to produce stable revenues with modest growth in numbers of players. In the quarter, this activity generated Euro 1.7 million in gross rake and Euro 400 000 in net rake.

"The diversification in terms of geography and products is progressing satisfactorily. As at 31st March 2009, the group held cash balances of Euro 3 million, excluding cash held in escrow covering Italian Government gaming guarantees of Euro 2.4 million."

L&G is planning to launch a marketing program in Q.2 with adverts based on the Palermo football sponsorship deal with the goal of recruiting further partners and customers as well enhancing the Italian poker offering to encourage players to continue playing through the summer.

The group awaits clarity on regulations that would permit Greek land based outlets and is poised to take advantage of this opportunity, when it arises.

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