TAB New Zealand Performance Update - February 2022

24 March 2022

TAB New Zealand (TAB NZ) provides the seventh monthly trading update for the 2021/2022 financial year, with the results and highlights for February 2022.

The TAB operated successfully through its online and retail channels throughout February. With New Zealand in the grips of the current Omicron outbreak, the continued impact on foot traffic in the retail and hospitality sector has caused a correlated downturn in gaming turnover at TAB retail outlets. This is reflected in final trading results for the month, which follows the year-to-date trend that has resulted from the impact of various regional lockdowns and corresponding venue closures.

Racing and sports betting turnover and profit continued to hold up well despite this reduced customer mobility. Turnover was slightly down in February due to the reduction in foot traffic in retail and on-course, as well as a number of abandoned domestic race meetings, but improved gross betting margins on racing and sporting events ensured final returns in line with budget for the month.

The TAB NZ Board has been able to maintain betting profit distributions at budgeted levels through the year to date. With funding from Betting Information Use Charges and the Betting Levy tracking above budget, this has meant that total distributions have been above budgeted expectations. As New Zealand enters new phases in its response to the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus, the Board will maintain a close watch on potential developments, any potential flow-on effect on trading conditions and any effect on profit distributions.

At its February meeting, the Board agreed to repay the remaining $15m of debt, given the organisation’s strong cash position, leaving a nil balance owed.

Wagering Performance Summary

In February, the key performance results for TAB were mixed after a strong January and December. Subject to final audit, turnover of $184.9m was 2.3% ($4.4m) below budget but gross betting revenue (GBR) of $30.1m just shaded budget at a gross betting margin (GBM) of 16.3%, 0.4% up on the budgeted 15.9%.

Racing

Average NZ thoroughbred starters per race was 10.6, matching the Year To Date (YTD) average, while the peak turnover for a domestic meeting was $2.9m on 12 February for Legends Day at Te Rapa. Harness average starters per race was 9.9, slightly below the YTD average of 10.3, while the peak meeting turnover of $1.4m was on 7 February for the Amberley Trotting Club meeting at Rangiora. For greyhound racing, the average starters per race remains at 7.6, matching the YTD average, while the peak turnover for a domestic meeting was $418k on 6 February at Manukau.

The total margin for the month across all New Zealand racing was 20.4%, above the YTD domestic racing margin of 18.7%. Overseas racing margin was 19.1%, above the YTD average of 18.5%.

Sport

Superbowl LVI led the sporting events in February with turnover of $754k followed by Adesanya vs Whittaker at UFC 271 with turnover of $546k. The total margin on in-play sport throughout February was 7.4%. Basketball and tennis dominated in-play performance, accounting for 59% of in-play turnover at 6.0% and 8.0% margin respectively. The pre-match singles margin was 10.8%, driven by basketball (30% of pre-match sports turnover) at a margin of 7.3% offset by football (20% of pre-match sports turnover) at 14.1%. Sports Multi margin was 16.6%.

February Operational Performance

  • Reported Profit for the month was $11.3m, which was $0.2m below Budget.
  • Operating Expenses were $9.0m for the month, which was $0.8m below Budget. 
  • Year To Date (1 Aug 2021 to 28 Feb 2022) Reported Profit* was $96.9m, which was $1.9m above Budget and $11.9m below last year.
  • Year To Date (1 Aug 2021 to 28 Feb 2022) Operating Expenses* were $66.5m, which was $3.1m  below Budget and $2.4m above last year. 

* - Note: Year to date figures are subject to final audit.

February Distributions

Racing Codes were paid $12.2m in distributions and other payments for February, versus $11.8m budgeted. This consisted of TAB NZ Betting Profit (listed as Fixed Distribution in the table below), offshore bookmaker commission fees, which are based on actual turnover (termed Betting Information Use Charges (BIUC) in the table below), and Betting Duty/Levy repeal.

Top 10 Racing events by turnover

Date

Venue

Race No.

Race description

Turnover

12-Feb

Te Rapa

R7

Herbie Dyke Stakes (G1)

$538K

19-Feb

Ellerslie

R7

AJC Avondale Guineas (G2)

$537K

19-Feb

Ellerslie

R6

Mainland 1600

$368K

19-Feb

Ellerslie

R4

Wallen Concreting Avondale Cup (G2)

$365K

26-Feb

Otaki

R7

El Cheapo Cars WFA Classic (G1)

$360K

19-Feb

Ellerslie

R8

Ecochill 2100

$359K

26-Feb

Matamata

R9

The Rich Hill @ Karaka 2022

$335K

5-Feb

Wingatui

R8

White Robe Lodge (G3)

$334K

19-Feb

Ellerslie

R5

Dads Pies 1500

$331K

26-Feb

Matamata

R8

Matamata Veterinary Services Kaimai Stakes

$327K

Top 10 Sporting events by turnover

Date

Code

Event

Turnover

14-Feb

American Football

Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams

$754K

13-Feb

MMA

Israel Adesanya v Robert Whittaker

$546K

25-Feb

Rugby Union

Highlanders v Crusaders

$346K

26-Feb

Rugby Union

Blues v Hurricanes

$335K

20-Feb

Cricket

Australia v Sri Lanka

$330K

19-Feb

Rugby Union

Crusaders v Hurricanes

$322K

15-Feb

Basketball

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors

$246K

21-Feb

Basketball

Team LeBron v Team Durant (All-Star Game)

$216K

19-Feb

Rugby Union

Chiefs v Highlanders

$211K

13-Feb

MMA

Derrick Lewis v Tai Tuivasa

$194K