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Horrible Q1-2013 For Bwin- Partypoker
Tuesday May 21, 2013 : TOUGH QUARTER FOR BWIN.PARTY
Revenues and player numbers slip
The major online gambling group Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment plc has released an interim management statement and Q1-2013 performance report that makes for rather gloomy reading, with declines in revenues and player numbers.
Key performance indicators covered in the report include:
* Clean EBITDA in the first quarter down 17 percent to Euro 180.2 million (2012: Euro 215.9 million)
* Revenue performance down 17 percent year-on-year reflecting the introduction of a 5 percent turnover tax on sports bets in Germany; a corporate shift in tactics from ‘volume’ to ‘value’; continued competitive pressures in poker and a reduced level of cross-sell revenue from sports into poker and casino following the dotcom platform migration in December 2012.
* Sports betting amounts wagered in Germany fell by 52 percent year-on-year, resulting in a 31 percent fall in the amount wagered to Euro 749.2 million (2012: Euro 1,083.4 million).
* Sports betting gross win margin went up to 9.9 percent (2012: 7.8 percent) reflecting increased wagering on combination bets together with the partial recovery of the tax from winning German customers.
*Overall, sports betting net revenue fell by 5 percent to Euro 67 million (2012: Euro 70.6 million) and average daily net revenue fell by 4 percent to Euro 744,400 (2012: Euro 775,800).
* Amounts wagered on casino and other games declined by 17 percent to Euro 1,805.3 million (2012: Euro 2,164.7 million) primarily reflecting reduced marketing in non-core dotcom markets, reduced cross-sell from sports betting customers following the dotcom platform migration, ISP blocking in Belgium and the closure of slots in Spain following regulation of the market in June.
Management notes that a decision to cease acquisition marketing in certain dotcom territories had a significant impact on new player sign-ups that fell by 61 percent, although there was a marked improvement in player - up by 12 percent. Overall, casino net revenue fell by 20 percent to Euro 57 million (2012: €71 million) and average daily net revenue fell by 19 percent to Euro 633,300 (2012: Euro 780,200).
* Poker continued to present a dismal picture, compounded by reduced player acquisition marketing in a number of dotcom countries as well as reduced cross-sell on bwin.com following player migration. Average daily players fell by 37 percent year-on-year and 15 percent quarter-on-quarter to 61,100 (2012: 96,700).
* Poker net revenue fell by 37 percent year-on-year and by 18 percent versus the previous quarter to Euro 33.1 million (2012: Euro 52.2 millionj) and average daily net revenue fell by 36 percent to Euro 367,800 (2012: Euro 573,600). With the impending launch of Bwin.Party's revised poker product, the company plans to improve the revenue trajectory of its poker business in the second half of 2013.
* Bingo new player sign-ups increased by 34 percent versus the previous quarter and by 6 percent year-on-year following Foxy Bingo marketing campaigns, but the company still posted a 9 percent fall in revenue year-on-year. Management notes that Italy remains a challenging market, but subsidiary Gioco Digitale is maintaining its market leadership with an approximate 26 percent market share. In Spain, the group's Binguez brand has performed well despite challenging macroeconomic conditions. Overall, online bingo net revenue fell by 9 percent to Euro 14.2 million (2012: Euro 15.6 million) and average daily net revenue fell by 8 percent to Euro 157,800 (2012: Euro 171,400)
* Other revenue increased by 37 percent to Euro 8.9 million (2012: Euro 6.5 million with strong growth performance by B2B partners with support from InterTrader, Kalixa, WPT and a small but inaugural contribution from social gaming activities.
* Total savings of Euro 70 million per annum to be delivered in 2013, with further savings in 2014 and 2015.
*Cash on hand at end March 2013 amounted to Euro 196.3 million - up y-o-y from Euro 169.7 million in 2012. In addition, a further Euro 30.3 million is held in short term investment vehicles.
* The company is carrying debts to the tune of Euro 35.1 million, down from last year's Euro 36.4 million.
* First phase of the group's new poker product, new social sports betting product and new bingo product all expected to launch as planned
Chief executive Norbert Teufelberger said:
“The drop in revenue in the first quarter reflects our tactical shift from ‘volume’ to ‘value’ that we announced at the time of the full year results, as well as lower than expected player activity in poker and casino following the dotcom migration in December 2012.
“As previously announced, our shift in tactics will see us optimise the shape and size of our business, a process that is expected to reduce total revenue in 2013 by up to 10 percent compared with 2012.
"However, our programme to reduce costs is on-track and we remain comfortable with our previous guidance on Clean EBITDA margins, having identified total savings of approximately Euro 70 million per annum to be delivered in 2013 with more to come in 2014 and 2015.
“Whilst seasonality and the absence of a major football tournament this year mean that revenue trends are unlikely to improve until the second half of the year, a series of new product launches and the anticipated opening of poker and casino in New Jersey coupled with a detailed programme of cost savings and a greater focus on regulated markets mean we remain confident about the Group’s prospects.”
Management reports that current trading has followed the downward first quarter trend. Overall, average daily net revenue in the 6 weeks to 12 May totalled Euro 1,611,800 (Q1 2013: Euro 1,903,300), a 15 percent decrease over the previous quarter and a 22 percent decline over the same period in 2012.
Average daily net revenue for sports betting was Euro 598,700 (Q1 2013: Euro 744,400); for casino and other games it was Euro 574,700 (Q1 2013: Euro 633,300); for poker it was Euro 298,400 (Q1 2013: Euro 367,800) and for bingo it was Euro 140,000 (Q1 2013: Euro 157,800).
The issue of sports betting licenses under the new German Treaty is dragging and heind schedule, with reports that applications are currently being re-examined in a process that is likely to significantly delay awards and implementation. Bwin.Party is one of the applicants for a very limited number of licenses.
"In the United States, we are finalising preparations so that we can be eligible to launch several branded services in New Jersey as soon as the market opens - currently expected to be at the end of November 2013," Management reports.
"Meanwhile, in Nevada the Group’s preliminary finding of suitability process is continuing and we remain confident of being found suitable for future business opportunities in the state.
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