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NZ Lotteries Commission’s Strong Final Quarter

MEDIA RELEASE 16 October 2003

For Immediate Release

NZ LOTTERIES COMMISSION'S STRONG FINAL QUARTER BOOSTS OVERALL RESULT FOR 2002/03 FINANCIAL YEAR

A strong fourth quarter result saw the New Zealand Lotteries Commission (NZLC) make an above-budget net profit and financial transfer to the Lottery Grants Board for 2002/03 financial year, NZLC Chief Executive Trevor Hall announced today.

Mr Hall, who took up his position as CEO in February 2003, said there was a significant turnaround in sales performance during the fourth quarter with sales of $138.7 million, up 2.2% on the same quarter the previous year and 11.8% up on the previous quarter.

"The Commission's 2002/03 Annual Report - tabled in the House today - showed that we made a net profit of $107.9 million, $2.8 million above budget.

"Total sales of Lotto, Instant Kiwi and Daily Keno were $539.9 million, $13.8 million (2.5%) below budget and $21 million (3.7%) behind the previous year. This was offset by reduced operating expenses of $40.05 million, $2.6 million (6.1%) below budget and $3.1 million (7.1%) less than the previous year. This included the cost of launching the rejuvenated Lotto game late last year.

"We clawed back a lot of ground in the fourth quarter and the boost in sales, coupled with cost reductions, meant that we produced a good result at year end.

"We transferred $107.9 million to the Lottery Grants Board, $2.8 million above budget, which was good news for New Zealand's sport and recreation, arts and culture and community sectors which are major recipients of NZLC profits via Lottery Grants Board funding," he said.

Other performance highlights included:

- Instant Kiwi sales in the fourth quarter being up 7.2% on the previous quarter due to the start of a fresh advertising strategy, improved play mechanics, updated ticket graphics and changes to prize distribution; and

- Sales of Daily Keno were $21.5 million (22%) above budget and 23.9% ahead of the previous year as a result of Keno moving from a five-day to a seven-day-a-week game.

"Our sales results from April this year have shown an upward trend and we are determined to extend this into the 2003/04 year and beyond. It's early days, but the recent positive response to our promotional strategies, backed up by our new business strategy, gives us confidence that the trend of declining sales experienced over recent years is being arrested.

"I am confident that we are now firmly on the path to sustained growth. We have some innovative plans for new and improved games and player services. This has to be good news for all New Zealanders who reap the rewards of good sales performance on our part."


ENDS

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