L&G posts good full year 2008 results

The land and online gambling group Leisure & Gaming plc has posted positive FY 2008 results that include gross profit up 70 percent, and operating profits back in the black.

The core Italian betting business in the group lifted the bottom line from Euro 3.5 million in 2007 to Euro 6.2 million in 2008 - a rise of some 77 percent. Operating profits rebounded from 2007's loss of Euro 1.7 million to a profit of Euro 2 million in 2008.

CEO Richard Creed informed shareholders that the company was intent on getting into the French market once the liberalisation process is complete in 2010, and advised that Greece was another market that the management felt had solid potential.

L&G severly pruned its Italian infrastructure in 2007, which saw wagering volumes in 2008 fall by 30 percent to Euro 76.9 percent, but the company increased the number of active customers by 26 percent to 33 000, and launched a Microgame-powered poker product after obtaining an Italian poker licence in December 2008. Players spent Euro 2.7 million in poker tournament fees, and the company earned gross rake of Euro 500 000 before duties.

The group appears to be expanding once again, with 114 new Betshop partner outlets opening in 2008, a new Cyprus partner network and the development of a new suite of casino products in Greece.

Creed said the company has ambitions to operate in five countries within the next three years, in addition to increasing market share in its existing markets.

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