StockMarketWire.com - Sportech had a positive start to 2017 and traded in line with management expectations.

The company said it expected the Football Pools will be accounted for as a discontinued activity.

Sportech announced the sale of the Football Pools business in March 2017, which was approved by shareholders on 19 April.

Completion of the transaction would be subject to the purchaser, OpCapita, receiving appropriate licensing from the Gambling Commission.

In line with the timetable set out, the company anticipate the Gambling Commission decision in the next few weeks, which would enable the transaction to complete by the end of June.

In March, Sportech completed the tender offer to purchase and then cancel 10% of its issued share capital, spending approximately £21m to repurchase 20.6m shares at a price of 101.5p.

RACING AND DIGITAL

From 1 January to 23 May 2017, Sportech Racing and Digital had encouraging trading.

The investment made over recent years in upgrading the gaming technology brought in new business, and the opening of the office in Singapore delivered results in a region where they previously had few customers.

In Asia, the contracts secured last year in Macau, Vietnam and Malaysia performed well, and Sportech expect additional customers to be announced shortly.

Furthermore, the firm saw notable gains in utilising its global infrastructure to allow customers access to international betting pools. This expansion into Asia helped to diversify and grow the division's revenues beyond its core North American marketplace, where industry betting turnover remained broadly flat.

Bump 50:50 continued to make encouraging progress, growing its market share in the evolving area of providing technology for in-stadia electronic lotteries. Bump, which made a positive contribution to the group, added five new professional sports teams to its roster including the Atlanta Braves baseball team.

VENUES

It was a solid start to the year for the Venues business, with progress in several areas. The company said it expected to open the 20,000 square feet flagship sports bar, restaurant and betting facility in downtown Stamford within the next few weeks following an investment of over $7m.

It also said it is working to receive licensing for a further venue in Danbury, Connecticut.

Sportech had its second-best betting numbers on record for the Kentucky Derby earlier this month. Internet wagering on MyWinners.com was up 7% compared to the same period last year.

As previously highlighted, our wagering business in the Netherlands which accounts for around 5% of revenue was operating under a licence that was previously extended to the end of June 2017.

The company should hear in the next few weeks whether they obtained a further licence extension from the Ministry of Justice to operate on an exclusive basis for the next few years.

FOOTBALL POOLS

The Football Pools business was operating under a sale process for most of this year. As a result, it was pleased with the progress being made, in particular with the launch of the new retail initiative.

BOARD CHANGE

As we announced last month, Roger Withers would retire today as Chairman of Sportech.

Richard McGuire would be appointed as the new Chairman of Sportech and Richard Cooper as a Non-Executive Director.


At 8:23am: [LON:SPO] Sportech PLC share price was +1.25p at 99.25p



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