By Ian Neubauer

Tabcorp Holdings reported a 3.1 per cent drop in normalised net profit for the first half of the 2007-08 fiscal year following the impact of equine influenza and smoking bans.

Tabcorp CEO, Elmer Funke Kupper, said the group would catch up on lost ground in 2008 by investing in its core franchise, particularly in NSW. Kupper said Tabcorp would beef up its $300-million expansion and refurbishment project of Star City but refused to say how much would be spent. Also on the cards are the renewal of Tabcorp’s Victorian licences and the expansion of Keno into hotels.

Tabcorp saw strong revenue growth and continued market share gain in the gaming sector over the period, a decrease in reported expenses and the successful exit of its Keno business in China.

Kupper said that while Tabcorp was on track to make amends for its disappointing performance of the last few years, economic indicators suggest the company should hedge its bets.

“More interest rate rises and higher petrol prices should have an impact going forward, and we will continue to watch consumer confidence carefully,” he said.  

Tabcorp shares jumped 7.2 per cent on Wednesday to open at $15.53 today but dropped to $15.16 by 4:00pm. A fully franked interim dividend of 47 cents per share is to be paid out in line with the dividend of the corresponding period twelve months prior.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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