Tabcorp set to spring into action
Tabcorp boss David Attenborough believes punters will be buoyed by the recent change in government as they turn their attention to the spring racing carnival, but is still tipping a standard CPI-indexed lift in turnover heading into the Melbourne Cup.
Speaking on Tuesday at the launch of the company's spring racing campaign, when it will book 25 per cent of its annual turnover in just 65 days of racing, Mr Attenborough said punters had been feeling more positive recently.
"Certainly we expect things to pick up after the election now that that's over; we are certainly seeing people be a lot more positive," he said.
"We are a discretionary spend company and you would certainly expect to see that come through into the numbers."
Tabcorp is expected to provide an earnings update and first quarter trading performance next week. The spring racing carnival is a crucial earnings period for Tabcorp. Last year NSW and Victorian TAB racing turnover hit $2.1 billion for the carnival with $184 million plunged on Melbourne Cup day.
Tabcorp is expected to book 2000 transactions a second and a total of 50 million transactions on Cup day, Mr Attenborough said.
He said Tabcorp's IT infrastructure was now on "lock-down mode" as it prepared for the massive betting plunge by Australians and overseas punters.
Although still two-thirds of its wagering activity is conducted in cash transactions over the counter at neighbourhood TABs, a growing component is now online. Of the online betting activity 43 per cent is from hand-held devices such as mobile phones.
Mr Attenborough said he expected offshore online bookmakers to be as competitive as ever this year.
"They will be active in the market, they are competitive and they are professional and we trade against them and trade successfully."
Tabcorp shares ended 2¢ higher at $3.26 on Tuesday.
InvestSMART FORUM: Come and meet the team
We're loading up the van and going on tour from April to June, with events on the NSW central & north coast, the QLD mid-north coast and in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Come and meet the team and take home simple strategies that you can use to build an investment portfolio to weather any storm. Book your spot here.
Want access to our latest research and new buy ideas?
Start a free 15 day trial and gain access to our research, recommendations and market-beating model portfolios.Sign up for free