Mobile punters lift Tabcorp

TABCORP is experiencing strong growth in its digital business as more punters place bets via mobile phones.

TABCORP is experiencing strong growth in its digital business as more punters place bets via mobile phones.

Tabcorp reported a net profit of $72.9 million on Thursday for the first six months of the 2012-13 financial year, down 61.5 per cent on the previous corresponding period. The result was skewed by the loss of the right to operate poker machines.

Tabcorp and rival Tatts lost their duopoly to operate poker machines in Victoria - outside of those operated by Crown in Melbourne's Crown casino - in August 2012.

Tabcorp was also obliged to share more of its proceeds from wagering with the Victorian racing industry.

Tabcorp's revenues from continuing operations for the six months to December 31 rose 2.1 per cent to $1.03 billion. Digital turnover in the first half grew 15.9 per cent, encompassing sales via the tab.com.au website and the company's wagering apps for smartphones and tablets.

Wagering via mobile devices accounted for 28 per cent of digital turnover in the first half.

"There's always been a tendency for generation X and Y to be early adopters of technology," Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough said. "People are getting used to transacting over their phones."

Tabcorp said the continued transfer to digital betting and a soft retail trading environment were reflected in turnover at TAB outlets. NSW retail TAB turnover grew 0.9 per cent to $2.04 billion, and Victorian retail TAB turnover fell 1.9 per cent to $1.57 billion.