Sportech swings to loss in 2020 as sporting events cancelled due to COVID

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Sportech PLC (LON:SPO) swung into a loss in 2020 as the betting technology group’s reliance on sporting events was hampered by COVID-19 restrictions.


It moved to a loss of GBP2.3mln on an adjusted EBITDA basis, compared with a restated profit of GBP1.6mln in 2019, as revenue from continuing operations slumped 41% to GBP20.0mln.


“COVID-19 created unprecedented challenging conditions for our businesses and the industries we serve,” said chief executive Richard McGuire.


“In line with this, the group took steps to generate tangible investor returns by exiting certain businesses and assets, advancing the sale of the Racing and Digital division’s Global Tote Business to BetMakers, the sale of the Bump 50:50 raffle business to Canadian Bank Note, and the disposal of a freehold property in Connecticut,” he said.


Since the initial COVID-19 impact on sporting events last March, the group has focussed on operational efficiency, cash generation and online growth across all business units. As a result, the group’s adjusted cash increasing from GBP13.0mln at the end of 2019 to GBP16.8mln at the end of 2020.


“Despite the challenging global environment, our performance in 2020 was better than initially forecast in March 2020, with Sportech delivering on key 2020 performance metrics, namely cash generation from operational activities, effective capex management, and delivery of a more efficient lower operational cost base going forward, resulting in only a modest cash outflow since the outbreak of COVID-19,” said CEO McGuire.


He warned that it was difficult to provide meaningful guidance on the future outlook given uncertainty around the timing of when sporting events will return in full and the potential impact of further lockdowns.

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