Sportingbet Sees Big Jump Down Under

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LONDON -- Sportingbet (LSE: SBT.L) -- a leading global online sports betting and gaming group -- released its results for the year ending July 31, 2012 this morning, and is currently down over 4.5%.

Amounts wagered was up over 14% at 2,349.2 million pounds, but core total revenue fell 8.4% to 188.9 million pounds. Underneath the headline figure there was an impressive 82% growth in amounts wagered in Australia, but a disappointing 30% fall in Europe and emerging markets.

There was an operating loss of 39.1 million pounds, but after adjustments for other income, exceptional costs, share option charge, and amortization of intangible assets, there was a profit of 32.2 million pounds, although that is down over 15% on 2011.

Commenting on today's results, Andrew McIver, group chief executive, said:

The Group has had a solid start to the new financial year in line with our expectations. We are confident that the increased advertising opportunities, improved payment processing and stable business platform provided by our regulated market presence will drive profitable growth in the medium term. While the economic outlook remains challenging, our robust position across a variety of attractive territories gives us confidence in the outlook for the current financial year.

On Monday, Sportingbet rose almost 4.5%, after revealing a joint approach from the world's biggest bookmaker, William Hill (LSE: WMH.L) , and GVC (LSE: GVC.L) , a leading provider of services to the online gaming and sports betting industry, offering 52.5 pence per share. The board of Sportingbet responded that the indicative offer "significantly undervalues the business and its future prospects."

Sportingbet's share price has been somewhat turbulent over the past few years, but has gained around 50% since the start of the year (albeit with a significant up and down on the way), so shareholders may feel inclined to trust the board's opinion and hold out for an improved offer despite this morning's fall.

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