KUALA LUMPUR: Sports Toto Bhd is cautiously optimistic about the continued growth of its numbers forecast operator (NFO) business in Malaysia, expecting further increase in per draw sales driven by favourable consumer spending and steady economy expansion.
“We recognise the concerns of outlet closures in the states of Kedah and Perlis due to political developments, which could lead to the proliferation of illegal NFO activities in the underserved areas.
“The management is continuing to take the necessary steps to address this issue,” it said.
It added that the illegal NFO business is estimated to be twice the size of the legal NFOs, which could deprive the country of tax revenue, conservatively estimated at RM5bil annually.
For the first quarter of FY24, Sports Toto posted a net profit of RM60.17mil, down from RM71.5mil in 1QFY23, with basic earnings per share dropping to 4.52 sen from 5.34 sen in the comparative quarter.
It said the weaker profit was mainly owing to a higher prize payout during the quarter.
The board of directors declared an interim share dividend of about 26.46 million shares on the basis of one treasury share for every 50 existing shares held.
The book cost of the 26.46 million treasury shares is about RM39.58mil which is equivalent to approximately three sen per share, it said.
For 1QFY24, the group reported revenue of RM1.59bil, up from RM1.42bil in the 2022 quarter.
It said this was owing to its lottery division recording a 7.2% increase in revenue contribution due to the improvement in average sales per draw and higher accumulated jackpot prizes in both digit jackpot and lotto games.
The group’s luxury car retail arm, H.R. Owen Plc, achieved growth of 17.1% in revenue as compared to the previous year corresponding quarter, which was attributed to the improved new car sales from its new multipurpose showrooms, service centres and headquarter at Hatfield, coupled with favourable foreign exchange effect during the current quarter under review.