Intralot’s Q1 profit up 5.3 percent

Lottery systems supplier Intralot met market expectations yesterday with a 5.3 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, as revenues from new business more than offset start-up costs. The world’s second-largest lottery systems supplier said net profit rose to 35.9 million euros ($56.45 million), which compared with an average forecast of 34.4 million euros given in a Reuters poll of analysts. Intralot said sales rose 42.7 percent to 256.6 million euros, with new business in Italy and South Africa absorbing start-up costs in Russia, Spain, the Netherlands, Victoria, Australia, and the United States. «Results came in in line with market forecasts and showed the firm could meet its targets for the full year,» Euroxx Securities analyst Costas Tsigourakos said. The firm has forecast a year net profit of 125 million euros and revenue of 1.15 billion. First-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dropped 2.1 percent to 72.5 million euros. Intralot, which also runs sports betting in 12 countries, has been expanding aggressively in recent years to capitalize on the liberalization of world gaming market. It said it would continue doing so. «The company will continuously pursue opportunities, as they arise, in the international gaming sector,» Chief Executive Constantinos Antonopoulos said in a statement. Intralot, which operates in 40 countries, started running sports and horse betting outlets in Italy and the national lottery in South Africa last year. It recently agreed to extend the operation of its Turkish sports betting game for up to a year and secured its fifth IT deal in the United States. It also won licenses to manage sports betting games in Madrid and to operate Ohio lottery’s gaming systems, along with an IT deal in the Netherlands. Its shares trade at 14 times estimated 2008 earnings, which compares with 16.4 for Italy’s Lottomatica and 23 for Scientific Games, according to Reuters Estimates. (Reuters)