UK's Sportingbet returns to winning form in Q3
Thursday January 29, 09:20 AM
LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Britain's Sportingbet Plc (LSE: SBT.L - news) posted a big rise in third-quarter profit on Thursday as punters' luck run out after the end of a winning streak that hit the online gambling company hard late in its first half.

Sportingbet's pre-tax profit rose 61 percent to nine million pounds ($16.5 million) in the three months to end-December, on turnover up 20 percent to 360 million pounds.

Last October, it reported a pre-tax loss of 5.7 million pounds in the six months to end-September, after suffering from "an unusually high number of unfavourable sporting results in the NFL (American football) and European soccer."

During the pre-Christmas period the number of sporting bets rose 30 percent year-on-year to 10 million as the customer count rose eight percent to 1.1 million.

Sportingbet said its overseas operations in Europe, the United States, Australia and Asia were profitable and growing in line with expectations.

Sportingbet shares were down 1.9 percent at 51-1/2 pence at 0915 GMT, valuing the company at 107 million pounds.

The market's consensus forecast for Sportingbet's annual pre-tax profit is 17.4 million pounds.