By Andrew Starke

Gaming giant Tabcorp Holdings has reported a slump in earnings with revenues from both its casinos and poker machines down from last year.

The company last week posted a profit of $258 million for the six months to December 31 last year, down from $263 million for the corresponding period in 2008.

Revenue was driven by good performances in wagering and at Star City casino, but held back by soft trading in the Queensland casinos. Gaming division revenue was flat.

Tabcorp chairman John Story said: “Overall, this is a sound result in variable economic conditions and a difficult regulatory environment. The company is progressing initiatives and investments in each of the operating divisions that are showing promise and provide a good foundation for growth in the coming years.”

Earnings at Star City in New South Wales increased on the back of 5.2 percent revenue growth.

However this performance was more than offset by a reduction in earnings in Queensland where the business faced a contracting gaming market.

Revenues were down one percent, despite Tabcorp’s three properties gaining market share.

The gaming market in Victoria also experienced much tougher conditions, following several years of strong growth.

Revenues from the Victorian gaming business fell by 1.1 persent, while market share increased to 53.2 percent.

Revenues from Keno grew by 4.6 percent following the successful expansion into hotels in New South Wales.

CEO Elmer Funke Kupper said that the company had responded well to the uncertain economic conditions without compromising its long term investment program.

“2010 is an important year for the company, particularly in wagering,” he said. “Greater clarity will emerge in the regulatory environment and we expect that the Victorian Government will award the post-2012 Victorian wagering licence. These events will allow us to chart the future direction of the company with greater clarity.”

The Shout Team

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