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Tabcorp AGM

October 31st, 2013 0 comments

My annual angst. To buy or sell Tabcorp shares? But at least now my stress is biennial, with the meeting held every other year in Sydney. This year we have an opportunity to compare the refreshments on offer at the Grand Hyatt on Collins with those at the Sofitel in 2011. But I still remember those lamb cutlets at the Tennis Centre in 2010!

We’re not happy punters. The share price has collapsed since the loss of the pokies licence and the demerger of the casino business. Questions about remuneration are always deflected and the board and management reward themselves handsomely at our expense. Dr Switowski cops a bit of flack for wearing so many hats and being on so many boards, as well as running the NBN and RMIT. He can’t possibly have any time for our wagering business. But easily dismissed, Switowski swatted it away.

The chairperson, Ms Dwyer, got stuck into the corporate cowboys and their unfair advantage with a low tax rate, credit betting and failure to contribute to the industry. The guv’ment should do something about that! Wagering is now a very competitive business. We have the Victorian wagering licence but the split has changed from 75/25 to 50/50 with the industry, which is bad. The NSW TAB exclusive licence has been extended to 2033 which is good and Queensland Keno extended to 2047, also good. Total revenue is up 2% to 2003.2 million, which is just fair. In the first quarter of 2014 it is up 3.1% to $503.9 million, which is encouraging. Maybe, just maybe they are a hold.

The angry seagulls descended on the refreshments, but there was plenty to go around with not much elbow work required. Our numbers must be slowly declining. The attrition of age. Horses’ doovers, hot dogs and Diet Coke. I especially liked the small hot dogs. Had two. Or was that three?



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