Sportech has announced in a five-month trading update that it anticipates full-year pre-tax profit for 2008 to dip below current market expectations due to the cost of launching its online football business and the migration of its non-football content to the 888 platform.
However, the company said the figure would represent a considerable increase on last year’s performance, and said it was confident of building on the “significant progress” made over the five-month period from July to September 2008, which saw the company become a net recruiter of customers “for the first time in recent history.”
Having recruited more than 15,000 customers to its online football business in the 11 weeks since the start of the football season, the company said it expected this trend to continue next month when a selection of its games goes live across the Ladbrokes betting shop estate, and from January 2009 to the 4.9m registered customers of 888.com.
Looking ahead, the company said that with “many of the challenging operational and financial initiatives completed”, it believed its position “as a high-volume, small-value ticket gaming business” placed it in on advantageous footing to weather any economic downturn.
The company also announced today that it had undertaken a “strategically important” acquisition of football community website 4thegame.com for £600,000, with the aim of using the site to cross-sell and market the full suite of Sportech football games.