11/05/2008 12:00AM

Youbet's net earnings improve

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Handle and revenue during the third quarter this year for Youbet.com continued to decline, according to financial documents released on Wednesday, but the online horse race wagering and broadcasting company was also able to increase its net earnings by widely increasing its margin on bets.

Revenue in the third quarter from Youbet Express, the company's online platform, was down 12.2 percent, from $26.6 million in the third quarter last year to $23.4 million this year. However, the company's operating expenses for the unit declined 19.4 percent in the quarter, from $6 million last year to $4.9 million this year. The result was net income of $2.7 million, compared with $67,000 in the third quarter last year. Profit margins for the unit increased from 31.5 percent to 38.3 percent.

Handle through the online operation declined 8.7 percent, from $133.3 million in the third quarter last year to $121.7 million this year. During the past year, Youbet.com has lost access to a significant number of signals because of disputes with horsemen and racetracks, and it has also lost access to two markets - Washington D.C. and Arizona - because of legal concerns.

Youbet also owns United Tote, a bet-processing company. Revenue for United Tote in the quarter was $6.3 million, down 12.1 percent from the third quarter last year. The unit had a net loss in the quarter of $478,000, compared with a net loss last year of $522,000.