NFL Week 15 Picks
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SPORTECH ON TRACK IN H1-2014
Operator and supplier of pools and tote betting services, Sportech plc, has posted its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2014, highlighting the success and growing momentum of its activities in the United States.
The report claims:
* Good strategic progress in securing new contracts and acquisitions
* Progress made in rolling out strategy across the group venue estate, online, mobile and i-gaming
* Group now generates 64 percent of its revenues from US-based business interests
* Football Pools performing in line with operational targets
* Revenue up 1.7 percent to GBP 52.6 million on a constant currency basis
* EBITDA of GBP 12 million, in line with prior year:
* Sportech Racing and Digital up GBP 600,000 to GBP 3.7 million
* Sportech Venues down GBP 600,000 to GBP 2 million
* Football Pools in line with prior year at GBP 8.2 million
* Exceptional pre-tax gain of GBP 87.1 million following receipt of GBP 93 million from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, but an HMRC appeal in respect oif this amount pending.
* Net cash of GBP 26.3 million, and adjusted net debt of GBP 66.7 million - up GBP 3.3 million.
Strategic and operational highlights included:
Sportech Racing and Digital
* Agreement with BetFred to provide new systems and digital technology to Totepool (UK Tote) signed in July
* Entered the US online gaming market through agreement with Atlantic City-based Resorts Casino Hotel to supply online gaming services through an NYX joint venture
* Acquired Bump Worldwide, a provider of electronic charity raffles, to extend customer base into professional sports teams
* Trading impacted due to extreme winter weather conditions, loss of VIP revenues, new development start-up costs and increased pressure on operating margins
* Estate development continues, with the opening of a sports bar, restaurant and betting venue in Bradley, Connecticut; the launch of Connecticut's only legal online betting site; and th award of regulatory approval to open a pipeline of three similar venues over the next year in Stamford, Connecticut and in San Diego and Norco in California
* Acquired record new customers to the subscription business
* Increased spend per customer has offset the anticipated customer number decline, primarily in Collector Channel
* Developing new online site which will go-live in H2-2014 and is expected to drive customer acquisition
CEO Ian Penrose, said Thursday:
"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. 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.
"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."
NFL Insider: Whos hot, whos not and more
San Diego Chargers Madden Betting Pandemonia receiver Eddie Royal has 10 catches for 114 yards and five touchdowns. He already has tied his career high for touchdowns in a season. Royal is healthy again after being banged up much of last season and is benefiting from the time he spent with coach Mike McCoy in Denver.
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith has completed 53.4 percent of his passes for 470 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and a 55.2 passer rating. He also has taken nine sacks.
9 The Jaguars offensive points this season. They have more penalties (14) and have allowed more sacks (11) this season.
NY Giants (minus-1) at Carolina: Ron Rivera is 2-7 in September games in his three seasons as the Panthers head coach. Record vs. the spread: 0-1-1.
The Denver Broncos have won 13 regular-season games in a row. A win Monday night will match the franchise record.
The Washington Redskins are 1-5 when Robert Griffin III starts and rushes for fewer than 25 yards.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson went 78 yards on his first carry of the season. He has averaged 2.7 yards per carry on the 43 carries since.
The New Orleans Saints have one touchdown in seven red-zone trips. They ranked second in the league last season in that category, scoring a touchdown on 68.4 percent of their visits inside opponents 20-yard line.
The New York Giants are trying to avoid their first 0-3 start since 1996, when they went 6-10. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 115 teams have started 0-3 since 1990, and only the 1992 Chargers, the 1995 Detroit Lions and the 1998 Bills made the playoffs.
The Cincinnati Bengals have not allowed a 300-yard passing game since Clevelands Brandon Weeden had 322 against them in Week 2 last year.
San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and his brother, Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis, will meet on opposite sidelines for the first time at any level. Vernon is 41/2 years older.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has a passer rating of 90.0 or better for 15 consecutive regular-season games. He will break his own league record if he can accomplish that again Monday.
The Detroit Lions have dropped eight passes, the most in the league, according to ESPN research.
The Houston Texans lead the NFL in red zone touchdowns, going 7 for 7. Matt Schaub has six touchdown passes, and Arian Foster has a touchdown run. Houston has scored 49 points in the red zone, second to Green Bays 52.
The Seattle Seahawks are 18-8 since the final half of the 2011 season. Their eight losses were by an average of 4.4 points.
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson became the only NFL defender since at least 1970 with a catch and a completion in the same game. He threw a 17-yard pass and caught a 17-yard pass in last weeks victory over the Lions.
Information from the Sports Xchange was used in this report.
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