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Betting shop costs reflected in TurfTV's annual pounds 17m profit.

THE rising cost to bookmakers of taking the TurfTV live horseracing channel in betting shops has been revealed in financial results which showed that parent company Amrac increased its revenues for the 13 months ended December 31 by 14.2 per cent, to just short of pounds 60 million, compared with the 12-month period in 2009. The figures were contained in an end-of-year statement from Timeweave, the 50-50 joint-venture partner in Amrac with 30 Racing UK racecourses and Ascot, covering 13 months.

Operating profits for TurfTV, which broke the 20-year monopoly of SIS when launched in April 2007, rose by 8.3 per cent from the previous 12-month figure, to pounds 16.978m, on total revenues of pounds 59.754m.

Timeweave changed its name from Alphameric and moved from the main stock market list to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on June 1 last year, after the near-pounds 15.5m disposal to Orbis of its betting-shop services division.

According to the latest set of accounts, the sale of Alphameric Solutions resulted in a loss to Timeweave on discontinued operations amounting to pounds 2.2m, but the net proceeds enabled the company to end the year with a cash pile worth pounds 31.9m, up more than half from the 2009 figure of pounds 20.8m.

Chairman Peter Bertram said: "Over the last 13 months the group has gone through significant change, both in terms of its trading operations and management team.

"We now start the year with a reshaped board, a strong balance sheet and the imminent arrival of a new chief executive."

The Racing Post revealed last month that Timeweave had appointed David Craven, managing director of the Tote's pool and e-gaming operation, as chief executive from next month.

Bertram added: "While trading conditions for our joint-venture business Amrac remain affected by the economic conditions in the markets, particularly in Ireland, the board will continue to look to invest in this business to generate appropriate returns for shareholders."

The Timeweave board increased the shareholders' final dividend to 1.6p, for a total of 2.6p per share, against last year's 1.7p.

Timeweave shares ended the week at 24.50p. Financial advisers Investec issued a note advising purchase up to 40p on the back of the results.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 6, 2011
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