Financial highlights for the period included:
* Betting stakes of Euro 74.0 million for the nine months - up 28 percent over the same period last year.
* Net gaming revenue of Euro 11.7 million for the nine months - up 19 percent.
* EBITDA (including the joint venture with bwin in Madrid) of Euro 100 000 for the nine months - down Euro 600 000.
* Cash position as at 30 September 2008 (including the joint venture in Madrid) of Euro 9.2 million - up Euro 1.2 million.
* EBITDA excluding the joint venture in Madrid of Euro1.3 million for the nine months and cash position as at 30 September 2008 also excluding the joint venture in Madrid of Euro 8.1 million.
Business highlights for the period included:
In Germany, turnover for the 9 months was Euro 74 million which continues to exceed that of last year at a consistent rate of 28 percent. Gross hold of Euro 14.0 million for the nine months is 25 percent up on the same period last year and Net Gaming Revenue of Euro 11.7 million is 19 percent up on last year. Management report overall an excellent result from the German operations, where the group has managed to achieve steady growth and stable trading results despite the unfavourable legislative environment in that country.
In Spain, Betbull Bwin Espana (BBE) was awarded a retail betting licence by the autonomous Community of Madrid on 23 September, in line with forecasts stated in the last quarterly release. BBE is now one of only 4 licensed operators in the Province of Madrid. A roll out of approximately 100 betting premises, including agencies and own shops is planned within the next 4 years in the Province. It is widely believed that other Provinces will follow Madrid in licensing retail betting and BBE intends to extend operations to those Provinces when possible. The central office operations and management already established will be capable of supporting retail activities in further Provinces, producing future economies of scale.
Management reports that online betting continues to be a complementary product for retail clients.
Betbull's focus is now concentrated fully on Germany and Spain, with other activities being gradually curtailed. Management feels that the two regions offer such immense opportunities that it is essential to apply all available resources to those regions.
Simon Bold, director of Betbull said: "Betbull achieved a solid trading result in the 9 months to 30 September; this has been distorted somewhat by the group's investment in the Spanish market through the Joint Venture company BBE, whose financial results are fully consolidated into the foregoing accounts.
"Betbull has identified itself as a strong and credible betting retailer by its presence in the Spanish market, being one of only four licensed betting operators to date in the Province of Madrid. Early signs in the Spanish market are very promising and we see this market as the most exciting opportunity in Europe at the moment. The first shops will open in the next one or two months and Q1 will see the first trading reports from Madrid activities.
"The company continues to operate a tight financial control and closely monitor costs. The concentration of resources on just 2 regions, Germany and Spain will help to streamline the company and we will curtail
operations not associated with these core areas during the coming months."
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