PETALING JAYA: Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd’s (BToto) net profit for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2020 increased 5% to RM65.06 million from RM61.94 million a year ago.
Pre-tax profit of RM95.41 million was on par with the pre-tax profit of RM95.39 million registered in the corresponding quarter of the previous year, mainly due to a lower percentage drop in Sports Toto Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s pre-tax profit compared to its drop in revenue coupled with higher pre-tax profit contributed by HR Owen Plc.
It however registered a drop in revenue of 12.4% to RM1.23 billion in the current quarter under review from RM1.41 billion registered in the corresponding quarter of the previous year, mainly due to lower revenue reported by Sports Toto.
Sports Toto, the principal subsidiary, registered a decrease in revenue and pre-tax profit of 19.9% and 3.6% respectively, mainly due to a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic from late September 2020 and persisted throughout the current quarter.
The drop in its pre-tax profit, in line with lower sales, was mitigated by lower prize payout as well as lower operating expenses incurred in the quarter under review.
HR Owen registered a marginal increase in revenue of 0.8% to RM541.4 million from RM537.1 million reported in the previous year’s corresponding quarter while pre-tax profit for the current quarter was higher at RM11.1 million compared to RM2.4 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.
The higher pre-tax profit was mainly attributed to lower operating expenses incurred, resulting from certain austerity measures undertaken by the company, coupled with support fee income received from franchises as well as certain business relief support from the UK government during the current quarter under review.
For the six-month period, BToto’s net profit jumped 3.1% to RM132.92 million from RM128.89 million a year ago, while revenue came in at RM2.58 billion, against RM2.84 billion a year before.
The board has declared a second interim dividend of 2.5 sen per share, amounting to RM33.59 million, in respect of the financial year ending June 30, 2021 and payable on April 23, 2021.
The total dividend distribution for the financial period ended Dec 31, 2020 is RM87.33 million, representing about 65.7% of the attributable profit of the group for the six-month period ended Dec 31, 2020.
On prospects, BToto said the operation of Sports Toto has been affected by the reimposition of MCO by the Malaysian government effective Jan 13, 2021, where its outlets in all states in Malaysia except Sarawak were closed due to the MCO restrictions and only resumed operations on Feb 16, 2021.
In the UK, the operations of the subsidiary companies of the group are also temporarily closed as the UK is currently under its third nationwide lockdown, which came into force on Jan 5, 2021. This posed further challenges to the business operations of the group.
“Thus, it is extremely challenging to ascertain the full extent and duration of the impact to the group’s operations and financial performance from the government-imposed restrictions. The economy is expected to recover at a slower pace as the business environment and consumer sentiment remain weak until the vaccination programmes are well underway in countries where the group’s subsidiary companies operate,” the group said in its exchange filing.
In spite of that, the directors are cautiously optimistic that the group’s businesses will gradually recover with the fairly resilient nature of the number forecast operator (NFO) business as noted in the past economic crises and turbulent periods. The directors are also confident that it will continue to maintain its market share in the NFO business for the remaining quarters of the financial year ending June 30, 2021.