Tab­corp looks to bet­ter 2018 af­ter $ 20.8m FY loss

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRIS­TIAN ED­WARDS

TAB­CORP chief ex­ec­u­tive David At­ten­bor­ough ex­pects 2018 to be trans­for­ma­tional af­ter the gam­ing gi­ant slipped to a $ 20.8 mil­lion loss for the 2016/ 17 fi­nan­cial year.

“FY17 has been a strate­gi­cally im­por­tant year for Tab­corp,” Mr At­ten­bor­ough said.

Tab­corp’s re­sult, down from a $ 169.7 mil­lion profit in the pre­vi­ous year due largely to the $ 199.7 mil­lion of sig­nif­i­cant items, came on the back of a string of heavy costs.

“We’ve ex­e­cuted on a num­ber of ini­tia­tives that have been crit­i­cally im­por­tant to po­si­tion the group for fu­ture growth and de­liver sus­tain­able re­turns for share­hold­ers and our other stake­hold­ers,” Mr At­ten­bor­ough said. “Over­all, in FY17 we have made sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments to bet­ter po­si­tion Tab­corp to de­liver sus­tain­able fu­ture growth and the cost of these in­vest­ments is re­flected in our FY17 re­sults.” That in­cludes the $ 53.9 mil­lion cost of its pro­posed $ 11 bil­lion merger with Tatts, the ac­qui­si­tion of gam­ing- tech firm IN­TECQ for $ 4.9 mil­lion, and the Sun Bets op­er­at­ing loss of $ 47.6 mil­lion.

Sig­nif­i­cant items also in­clude the $ 61.8 mil­lion cost in­curred due to AUS­TRAC pro­ceed­ings in which Tab­corp agreed to a $ 45 mil­lion set­tle­ment and fur­ther im­pair­ments of $ 20.7 mil­lion.

Mr At­ten­bor­ough said Tab­corp and Tatts were com­mit­ted to com­plet­ing the merger of their busi­nesses by the end of 2017, de­spite op­po­si­tion from the com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog and ri­val Crown­Bet.

The Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion and Crown­Bet want a ju­di­cial re­view of the Aus­tra- lian Com­pe­ti­tion Tri­bunal’s ap­proval of the merger.

The Fed­eral court is set to hear their ap­pli­ca­tion, on Au­gust 28- 29.

Tab­corp and Tatts have de­layed re­leas­ing their merger scheme book­let un­til Septem­ber, be­cause of the court pro­ceed­ings.

Tab­corp has de­clared a fully franked fi­nal div­i­dend of 12.5c per share, tak­ing its full- year dis­tri­bu­tion to 25c.

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