Pokies loss hits profit

Profits in gambling dynamo Tatts have sunk 22.5 per cent after the Victorian government broke up its pokies duopoly with Tabcorp.

Profits in gambling dynamo Tatts have sunk 22.5 per cent after the Victorian government broke up its pokies duopoly with Tabcorp.

Net profit for the 12 months to June 30 was $247.3 million, down from $319.1 million for the previous corresponding period.

Tatts managing director Robbie Cooke said the loss of its lucrative Victorian pokies business had distorted its balance sheet. He said a more accurate comparison was to exclude the pokies division, which contributed 46 days to the company's bottom line last financial year. That reveals a rosier picture.

Based on continuing operations, full-year net profit rose 40.8 per cent to $227.4 million, compared with last year's $161.5 million.

"[That] shows how our business will look on a go-forward basis with the final curtain now drawn on our Victorian pokies business," Mr Cooke said. Investors agreed, with the group's shares advancing 4¢, or 1.3 per cent, to $3.21.

An "exceptionally strong" performance in its lottery sales bolstered Tatts' earnings, with 39 jackpots in Oz Lotto and Powerball at or above $15 million last financial year. This compares with 22 jackpots for the previous corresponding period.

The company will pay a final dividend of 7.5¢ a share on October 7, taking the full year dividend to 15.5¢, compared to 23¢ in the previous financial year.

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