Amid Falling Profits, Tabcorp Plans to Raise $300 Million

29 January 2009

As profits slipped for Tabcorp Holdings, the Melbourne-based gaming behemoth, in the first half of the 2008-9 financial year, the company announced a capital-raising campaign to amass 300 million Australian dollars.

Net profit after tax was posted at 263.2 million Australian dollars, which the company said was down 3.7 percent after absorbing the Victorian license amortization.

In conjunction with results, Tabcorp announced that it has launched an underwritten institutional placement of new shares to raise approximately 300 million Australian dollars.

According to the company, the new shares are expected to be issued to participants under the placement on Feb. 5 and will rank equally with existing shares.

“Whilst we expect that economic conditions will become more difficult in the coming months, our business is well placed for the economic environment and we will continue to concentrate on the basics,” said Elmer Funke Kupper, the company’s chief executive, in a prepared statement.

Mr. Kupper added that the casinos division performance was below expectations, specifically mentioning New South Wales.

He also warned of “significant additional charges” against Tabcorp’s revenue in the coming year from new wagering product fees and higher gaming taxes in Queensland.

Following the announcement of the Queensland tax hike in December, which begins in July 2009, Tabcorp estimated that if the tax increase took place in 2008, it would have cut 20 million Australian dollars out its net profit.