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MUTED Q2 RESULTS FROM CRYPTOLOGIC
Online gambling software firm Cryptologic released its Q2 2008 results for the three molnths to June 30 this week, joining other companies that reported a quiter quarter, probably due to the distraction of the Euro2008 football championships.
The company noted that its success in signing five new customers in the quarter and two more recently, gave cause for optimism going forward.
CryptoLogic grew its revenue in the seasonally slow quarter to $16.8 million (Q2 2007: $16.2 million), driven by the company's core European online casino business.
The company posted a reduced loss of $1.5 million (Q2 2007: $2.6 million). The second quarters of 2007 and 2008 produced the software provider's only quarterly losses in recent years, reflecting significant expenses in both periods.
"While seasonality made this a more challenging quarter, at CryptoLogic we remain committed to our goals - and confident in our growth," said Brian Hadfield, CryptoLogic's President and CEO. "While modest growth is encouraging, aggressive growth is our goal.
"With an upgraded technology platform and five new customers signed in the last quarter, CryptoLogic's challenge is to execute with excellence - and that should lead to significant revenue and earnings growth from both Europe and Asia."
Financial highlights from the company included:
* Revenue up 3.4 percent to $16.8 million over the same period a year ago (Q2 2007: $16.2 million), driven by the company's Internet casino business. However, compared to Q1 2008 numbers, revenue was down to $16.8 million from the $19.3 million.
* Operating expenses at $13.2 million, up $1.8 million from a year ago but down $1.3 million from the first quarter of 2008.
* General and administrative expenses were up $1.9 million over Q2 2007 due to increased consulting and professional fees. This included costs of $400,000 to protect the company's intellectual property, which CryptoLogic expects to recover in the future.
* Working capital at June 30, 2008 was $63.3 million.
* Net cash on hand was $64.4 million on June 30, 2008, down $16.6 million since March 31, 2008 due primarily to increased tax payments, timing of receipts, dividend payments, stock repurchases of $0.7 million, and the company's investment in Mahjong Time.
Operational highlights included:
* The launch of seven exclusive new casino games, highlighted by the Internet's first slot version of the world-famous Street Fighter II arcade game.
* Development completed on a new suite of casino games, including titles featuring the famed Marvel Super Hero Sub-Mariner and 4 Deck Multi Hand Video Blackjack, a patent-pending product developed exclusively by CryptoLogic.
* Enhancements to the Internet poker software of the company, enabling players to host their own tournaments and customise their Internet gaming experience.
* New licensee arrangements with 888.com, 0Poker.com, Maharajah Club and Khel Galli.com. The latter is the company's first major Asian customer, targeting the high-growth Indian market. Implementations of OPoker, Maharajah Club and Khel Galli have now been completed, and these sites will begin producing revenue for CryptoLogic in the third quarter.
* The company became the sole provider of Internet casino and poker software to Betjacks, an Internet gaming site that will target the Irish, UK, South African and Canadian markets following its launch this fall.
* This week, the company announced the signings of three-year contracts with Sky Betting & Gaming, part of BSkyB Group plc (BSkyB), the UK's leading entertainment brand, and Gaming Media Group, owner of The Poker Channel(R), Europe's largest dedicated gaming television network.
* Strategic investment in Mahjong Time, an innovative provider of online Mahjong software and turnkey solutions. Mahjong has a global following of more than 600 million players, creating an attractive opportunity for online gaming growth.
* Minority interest in South Korea's Mobilebus Inc., one of Asia's fastest-growing mobile and PC game developers and publishers.
CEO Hadfield observed that while the second quarter proved to be challenging, CryptoLogic management continues to believe the company is on track for significant growth in 2009.
"In just five months, CryptoLogic's new leadership has signed seven new customers, three of whom are now up and running - producing a growing revenue stream for CryptoLogic in Q3, Q4 and beyond," he explained. "The company is implementing a four-pronged strategy to enhance liquidity in its licensees' shared poker room through new poker licensees, system enhancements, potential acquisitions and collaboration with other Internet poker networks.
"CryptoLogic is widely acknowledged as a leader in Internet casino software, and is releasing innovative new products more quickly than ever before. The company has made significant operational improvements, including adding new payment options, enhancing WagerLogic's call centre capabilities, improving search engine optimization and reorganizing development and operations functions.
"CryptoLogic's Asian investments will earn modest revenue in 2008, with significant 2009 growth potential from multiple platforms in very large markets such as China, Singapore, India and Korea."
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