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.