- Sportech has substantially improved its H1 pretax profit to £87.8m, from £2.6m a year ago. Revenue totalled £52.6m, from £51.7m.

"We are pleased with the progress we have made in the first half, and in particular with the strategic momentum we have continued to build in our US business," said CEO Ian Penrose.

"We are expanding our retail betting estate, developing an online betting offer on horseracing and rolling out iGaming products as regulation allows.

"This series of initiatives complements our existing Racing and Digital business that currently processes $13 billion of bets annually, and following significant investment in new technology and products over the last couple of years, the division has secured new contracts, most notably to replace the entire betting system for the UK Tote.

"Customer reaction to the opening of our flagship 10,000 sq ft sports bar, restaurant and betting facility at Bradley has been very positive, and we have already obtained regulatory approvals to extend our estate by building a similar additional venue in Connecticut and two further similar venues in California over the next year.

"We have now launched the only legal online betting site in Connecticut, and the Group's highly regulated position has enabled us to enter the US online gaming market through a deal with the iconic Resorts Casino Hotel.

"Given the pleasing growth in our Racing and Digital division, the solid performance of our Football Pools business, and the positive regulatory progress we have made in our Venues business, it is disappointing that the extreme US winter weather together with margin pressures in Connecticut have taken the shine off our financial performance.

"Like all companies with interests in the US, the reported results have been negatively impacted by the strength of Sterling. On a constant currency basis the Group remains in line to meet its expectations, although at current exchange rates the reported result will be adversely impacted for the full year."

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