Leisure and Gaming plc released its third quarter results

Internet and land gambling group Leisure and Gaming plc released its third quarter results ended September 30 this week with positive news for investors following a rationalisation program.

Despite a traditionally quiet quarter the group achieved a gross profit of Euro 900 000 (2007: Euro 500 000) and an operating break-even position which was Euro 700 000 better than the comparable Q3 period last year.

Financial highlights included:

Amounts wagered: Euro 13.3 million (down from 2007's Euro 19 million)

Net win: Euro 3.2 million (2007: Euro 4.6 million)

Net win margin held at 24.1 percent

Gross profit up 80 percent at Euro 900 000 (2007: Euro 500 000)

Gross profit percentage 6.8 percent (2007: 2.6 percent)

Overheads reduced by 25 percent to Euro 900 000 (2007: Euro 1.2 million)

Operating breakeven compared with a loss of Euro 700 000 last time.

The company reported that its land interests in the Italian partner network were increased from 474 to 519 outlets, with a growing number of partners that is carrying forward into the fourth quarter. Poker for fun was launched on the Italian network, and trials on slots have commenced. Italian operations are managed by newly appointed CEO Italy, Fabrizio Motterlini. The total number of actiove punters on Betshop Italia's books has reached 28 974 (2007: 26 293)

Operations in Cyprus also went to plan, with active partners increasing 40 percent from 15 to 21,

Richard Creed, CEO said: "The Group has now recorded four quarters of profitable recovery, indicating that our business has turned the corner following its extensive restructuring in September 2007.

"In particular, the Euro 700 000 improvement in operating profit for the quarter as compared to last year demonstrates the benefit of the restructuring of the partner network which continues to deliver higher returns.

"Partner and customer numbers continue to grow which coupled with our strengthened platform and continued geographic diversification places the group in a good position to take advantage [going into] what is traditionally our busiest time of year."

Moving ahead, Leisure & Gaming said that for the fourth quarter, additional products and revenue-earning avenues would begin to make a contribution to profits.

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