Preliminary Final Report
Sydney Morning Herald - Sydney,New South Wales,Australia
RESULTS FOR ANNOUNCEMENT TO THE MARKET
TABCORP PRELIMINARY FINAL REPORT
FOR FULL YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2008
In accordance with the ASX Listing Rules 4.3A, the following information in respect of the
year ended 30 June 2008 is transmitted for lodgement:
1. Media Release; and
2. Preliminary Final Report (Appendix 4E).
The Directors have declared a special dividend of 47 cents per share fully franked at the
company tax rate of 30% to be paid on 22 September 2008.
The dividend record date for the purpose of entitlement to the special dividend will be
18 August 2008. The ex-dividend date is 12 August 2008.
The Directors decided to continue the operation of the Company's Dividend Reinvestment
Plan (DRP) for the special dividend. To participate in the DRP at the special dividend, DRP
elections must be received by Tabcorp's share registry (Link Market Services Limited) by the
end of the record date. The price at which shares are issued under the DRP is the daily
volume weighted average market price of Tabcorp shares sold in the ordinary course of
trading on the Australian Securities Exchange over a period of ten business days beginning
on the second business day after the dividend record date. Currently, there is no discount
applicable on the price of shares issued under the DRP. Information regarding the DRP can
be found on the company's website at www.tabcorp.com.au.
Executive General Manager Corporate and Legal
7 August 2008
Tabcorp 2008 full year results
Normalised net profit after tax before non-recurring items $516.9 million;
normalised earnings per share 98.5 cents - in line with guidance; strong expense
performance; equine influenza mitigated.
Reported net loss after tax ($164.6 million); addresses significant balance sheet
adjustments, including a charge against the Victorian licences ($487.7 million)
and impairment of wagering goodwill ($194 million).
Dividend of 94 cents per share maintained, including special dividend of 47 cents
per share. Outlook for the company maintains dividend per share at current level.
Group priorities unchanged, with focus on operational performance and customer
Increased investment in core businesses; Star City casino expansion investment
Group performance overview
Tabcorp Holdings Limited today announced a normalised net profit after tax (before non-
recurring items) of $516.9 million for the year to 30 June 2008. Normalised earnings per
share were 98.5 cents. Normalised earnings were in line with the 2007 result and
consistent with guidance given at the beginning of the year, notwithstanding the effect of
Reported net loss after tax was ($164.6 million), reflecting three significant balance sheet
A charge of $487.7 million against the value of the Victorian wagering and gaming
licences, reflecting the Victorian Government's view that Tabcorp is not entitled to
a licence fee refund.
A write down of $194 million in the carrying value of the company's wagering
business, reflecting the challenges faced by this business in recent years and the
changes in the competitive environment.
A write off of $25.8 million after tax against assets that will be made redundant as
part of the expansion of Star City casino.
These charges were partially offset by a positive win rate in the International Rebate
Business in the Casinos Division. The above theoretical win rate contributed $26 million
after tax to reported earnings.
Taking into consideration the underlying performance of the business, the Board has
declared a special dividend of 47 cents. This special dividend is a substitute for the final
dividend that will not be declared by the company as a result of the additional charges to
the 2008 reported earnings. The special dividend will be fully franked and payable on 22
September 2008 to shareholders registered on the books at 18 August 2008.
Chairman John Story said: "The operational performance of the Group was in line with
that of the previous year. In light of the challenges that it has faced, including smoking
bans, higher gaming taxes and the outbreak of equine influenza, this was a creditable
"The decisions taken by the Victorian Government in April 2008 have a material impact
on the Group. As a consequence, the Board has determined to take a provision for the
value of the licence refund. We believe this to be prudent, but it should in no way be seen
as a change in our strong resolve to pursue our legal entitlement to the refund," Mr Story
"We have also reviewed the carrying value of our wagering business. The performance of
this business has been impacted over several years by the challenges of integrating the
Victorian and New South Wales operations, the split picture dispute and equine
influenza. Whilst management has responded strongly to those challenges in the last
year and delivered a positive result, we cannot ignore their cumulative effect on the
business. Moreover, we must take into account the changing competitive environment
and the uncertainty in the regulatory regime. Tabcorp is adapting to the changing
competitive conditions aggressively, having regard to the interests of the racing industry
on which the business is based. Whilst we have every confidence in the future for the
wagering business, we consider that an adjustment to its carrying value is called for.
"Finally, the proposed expansion of Star City will render redundant certain elements of
the property, the value of which is still carried on the balance sheet. We have written
these items off as part of our overall review of the balance sheet," he said.
"The combined impact of these adjustments on the reported earnings is substantial. We
have, however, considered the dividend payment in the context of normalised earnings,
and have resolved to maintain the annual dividend at 94 cents per share. And while we
are conscious of global uncertainty and a softening economy, based on the current
outlook for the company we expect that this payment per share can be maintained," Mr
In the 2008 financial year, each of Tabcorp's three divisions delivered good expense
control, with aggregate expenses up 0.5%. Revenue performance across the divisions
was mixed, with aggregate revenues up 0.9%.
Measured in normalised Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT), the divisional results
Casinos: EBIT $368.8 million, down 4.5 per cent. The four casino properties
experienced tougher trading conditions in the second half, in addition to the
impact of smoking bans in New South Wales. These factors impacted on
revenues from Electronic Gaming Machines and the Main Gaming Floor with
revenues down 2.4% and 1.2% respectively.
At the premium end, revenues from the domestic Private Gaming Rooms
increased by 8.7%, assisted by above average win rates. Revenues from the
International Rebate Business were down 28.3% on the previous year, driven by
the absence of a few large players. An above theoretical win rate of 1.8% added
$26 million to the company's reported profit after tax.
The Board has approved an investment of $475 million to expand Star City
casino. This investment follows a new agreement on exclusivity and product
concessions with the New South Wales State Government.
The expansion will turn Star City into the leading entertainment destination in New
South Wales. The project includes a new five-star hotel tower, a reorientation of
the property towards Sydney harbour, a significant expansion of the number of
restaurants, bars and retail shops, and an expansion of the Main Gaming Floor.
The Star City expansion project is expected to commence in early 2009 and be
complete in 2011.
Wagering: EBIT $264.4 million, up 4.2%. The wagering result is positive in light
of the equine influenza outbreak, which impacted EBIT by approximately $17
million. Racing turnover recovered gradually during the second half after racing
resumed in December 2007. Sportsbetting continued to perform well with
revenues up 15.9% on the previous year.
The equine influenza outbreak had a significant impact on the Australian racing
industry. In New South Wales, thoroughbred and harness racing stopped for more
than three months, with the government providing financial support to participants.
Victoria continued to deliver a full racing program, which helped wagering across
the nation to continue. The continued racing program, together with additional
financial support from Tabcorp and an increase in the industry's share of gaming
earnings offset the impact of equine influenza in Victoria. Distributions to the New
South Wales racing industry fell by 4.4% to $214.0 million, while distributions to
the Victorian racing industry increased to a record $300.3 million.
Gaming: EBIT $261.4 million, down 0.3%. The Gaming division increased
revenues by 4.8% despite the introduction of full indoor smoking bans in Victoria.
Gaming market share in Victoria continued to increase, averaging 52% in the
second half. Revenue growth did not translate into higher earnings as a result of
the higher Gaming Machine Levy imposed by the Victorian Government.
Following New South Wales Government approval, the division commenced the
rollout of its Keno product into New South Wales hotels. As at the end of June
2008, 170 hotels offered the Keno product and this is expected to expand to 600
by the end of the 2009 financial year.
Chief Executive Officer Elmer Funke Kupper said that the company had responded well
to the equine influenza outbreak and a softening in the economic environment in the
"When equine influenza hit the racing industry, we adjusted our operating plans. This
allowed us to compensate for the loss of revenues and deliver on our original guidance
that the 2008 results should be similar to 2007. This outcome is a great credit to the
resilience of our wagering business and our racing industry partners.
"Our Gaming business did well to accommodate both the higher Victorian gaming levy
and the expansion of Victorian smoking bans. The Casinos Division has, however,
struggled in the face of smoking bans in New South Wales, competition in Queensland
and a deteriorating economic environment.
"2008 was operationally a much better year for the company. We simplified the business,
increased the focus on each of the operating divisions, reduced the size of our head
office and exited our China Keno businesses. Following significant issues in the previous
year, our technology performance improved significantly, particularly during Spring
Carnival in Victoria and Autumn Carnival in New South Wales.
"Our reported earnings were affected by a number of write downs. We have now dealt
with the major operational and balance sheet issues.
"During the year, we started a number of new initiatives that target higher growth. We
expanded our Keno business in New South Wales, announced entry by our wagering
business into the Northern Territory market, and approved the expansion of Star City
casino. These investments will put the company in a better position over the coming
years," he said.
Accounting treatment for Victorian wagering and gaming licences
In April 2008, the Victorian Government announced that it had decided to move to a new
structure for Victoria's gambling industry beyond 2012. The Government also stated it
had formed the view that Tabcorp was not entitled to compensation under the Gambling
Regulation Act 2003. Tabcorp believes that it has a right to a payment, which it estimates
to be $687 million. Legislation in relation to the announcement is yet to be enacted.
The obligation on the Victorian Government to make the payment to Tabcorp came into
existence when it floated the company. The right to the payment is in legislation and has
been acknowledged in various publicly available Government documents since 1994,
including the annual state budget papers. Tabcorp has recorded the licences as an
intangible asset on its balance sheet at their original cost of $597 million, and as a result
of the payment obligation, no amortisation has been recorded since 1994 given the
payment was expected to be not less than cost.
Tabcorp intends to pursue all of its rights and to take all appropriate action in respect of
the payment. However, the Government's stated position creates uncertainty in respect
of the payment, and therefore, the company has taken a provision for the present value
of the payment and will amortise the remaining value of the licences over the next four
This is reflected in Tabcorp's reported earnings as follows:
The company incurred a charge in its 2008 reported earnings of $487.7 million
Until expiry of the licences in August 2012, the company will incur an annual
licence amortisation charge of $26.5 million.
Mr Funke Kupper said that the company is well placed to face a tougher economic
environment. "In the second half, we have seen that higher interest rates and higher
living expenses are starting to affect discretionary spending, particularly in our casinos
"The operational improvements we put in place during the 2008 financial year put us in a
stronger position to weather an economic downturn. On the expense side, we will
continue to manage expense growth within CPI. On the revenue side, a number of
challenges that impacted us, including smoking bans, higher gaming taxes and equine
influenza are now largely behind us. This allows us to focus our energy on our customers
and on improving our competitive position.
"In 2008, we distributed a dividend of 94 cents per share to shareholders. Our current
projections indicate that this payment per share can be maintained.
Mr Funke Kupper confirmed that Tabcorp will increase investment in its casinos and
wagering divisions. "In 2009, we will increase our capital investment program, particularly
in the casinos division. In the medium term, these investments are critical so we can give
our customers the best possible gambling entertainment experience and secure the
revenue performance of our businesses."
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