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Unibet Q3 and YTD Results a Mixed Bag

November 5, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — The major European online gambling group Unibet delivered a mixed third quarter and year-to-date result this week, showcasing rising EBITDA and gross win revenues, but reduced pre-tax profits.
Gross win revenues rose to £29.3 million (Q3 2007: £19.4 million) and over the nine months to £88.5 million (2007: £56.9 million). Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were also up at £9.8 million (Q3 2007: £8.2 million) and over the year to September reached £31 million (2007: £19.8 million).
However, pre-tax profits shrunk in Q3 to £4.5 million (Q3 2007: £6.9 million) and over the nine months to September to £11.4 million compared to the same period in 2007 when pre-tax profits stood at £17.4 million.
The company reported the following highlights:
* Unibet repurchased €17 million of the €100 million bond it took out at the end of 2007 to acquire Maria Bingo, and notes that the company bought an additional €6 million of the bond since the start of October 2008, leaving the total outstanding on the bond at €80.4 milion.  
* The company is in a stronger cash position with £42.3 million in cash at the end of September. However, once £62.5 million is deducted from the balance sheet for the Maria Bingo bond, Unibet will be down to £12.2 million of debt, compared with £7 million at this time last year.   
Breaking the results down by category, sports betting gross win grew to £10.5 million (Q3 2007: £7.3 million) and to a nine-month total of £32 million, (2007: £22 million). Margins were up 2.2 percent on the quarter to 10 percent. After bonuses, gross margins were 6.4 percent, compared with 5.3 percent the year previous. Live betting accounted for 20.2 percent of gross win revenue excluding bonuses, compared with 7.3 percent last year.
Operating costs in the third quarter rose significantly to £18.8 million (2007: £10.9 million), although marketing investment remained steady at £4.7 million.  Salaries rose to £4.9 million, up by £1.5 million on the previous year. Looking at the same categories for the period January to September 2008, operating costs were £55.9 million (2007: £36.2 million); marketing expenditure £18 million (2007: £14.7 million) and salaries £13.5 million (2007: £10 million).
Operating profits for Q3 showed a slight improvement at £7.3 million (Q3 2007: £7.1 million). Over the nine months to end September operating profits reched £23.7 million — a marked improvements on the £17/7 million achieved in 2007.