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PLAYTECH RELEASES Q3 AND 9 MONTH RESULTS
It's been another successful quarter for online gambling software provider Playtech plc, which this week presented accounts for quarter three 2008 and for the nine months to end September 2008.
The company notes that it has changed its reporting currency to the Euro, converting all previous US dollar figures at a flat rate of $1.5777 to the Euro.
Quarter 3 revenues soared 67 percent to Euro 28.5 million (Q3 2007: Euro 17 million) Casino revenues totalled Euro 20.6 million, an increase of 69 percent; poker revenues were also well up at Euro 7.6 million, an increase of 60 percent over the same period in 2007.
Total revenues for the first 9 months of 2008 were Euro 80.1 million - up 78 percent from the Euro 44.9 million earned in the first 9 months of 2007. Over the nine months, casino revenues increased by 75 percent to Euro 57.3 million and poker revenues grew by 88 percent to Euro 21.5 million compared with the same period in 2007.
Management reports that current trading in the start of Q4 in October was very strong, registering 10.6 prcent growth on an average daily basis in its online activities compared with the daily average experienced during Q3 2008. November trading, to date, has shown further growth on October 2008.
Operational highlights included:
* 4 new licence agreements signed during the quarter, including leading Italian operators Eurobet Italia, Sisal SpA and Cogetech SpA.
* 3 memoranda of understanding with operators located in regulated jurisdictions.
* The successful migration of Mansion poker room to the iPoker network completed at the end of September 2008.
* A play-for-fun poker version was launched on Playtech's Italian poker network. Play for real version intended to be launched by the end of Q4 2008.
* Strong pipeline of new licensees.
Playtech continues to expand its product offering, management reports. During the quarter it fully launched its Asian P2P Games with selected licensees together with an enhanced set of management tools specifically for use with the Asian markets.
The company also released a new version of Bingo, with the intention of further investment into this product. Live games product is being expanded to include a European offering, and Flash poker was launched in the third quarter and continues to be successfully rolled out with completion scheduled for the end of Q4 2008.
Strong growth in the Asia Pacific region has increased revenues and the proportion of total revenues generated from that region.
Under the heading "Strategic Highlights" Playtech announces that it is to supply William Hill Online with casino, poker and other gaming software products on a phased basis commencing January 2009 and culminating in an exclusive relationship for casino and poker from 1 January 2010 (see previous InfoPowa report). The William Hill online licence will run for a minimum of five years. Associated with the deal, Playtech entered into contractual arrangements to acquire certain online gaming marketing assets, businesses and contracts from affiliates and other third parties for a total consideration of up to US$250 million* in cash to be completed in January 2009 - Playtech has acquired sufficient US Dollars to meet its obligation to pay the purchase price in US Dollars..
Playtech is to inject the majority of the new assets on completion into William Hill's entire online gambling operation in return for a 29 percent interest in the gambling group's enlarged online operation branded "William Hill Online". This interest can increase up to 32 percent depending on certain conditions relating to the integration.
On 14 August 2008 Playtech announced the asset acquisition of MIXTV Ltd for a total cash consideration of US$1.75 million. MIXTV is a subsidiary of Win Gaming Media, Inc, which provides end-to-end technology for the delivery of mass-multi-player live gaming applications via broadcast television and interactive live TV shows, on analogue, digital, terrestrial, cable, satellite TV networks, and web broadband TV.
As at 30 October 2008, the company had a net cash position of Euro 204 million.
Playtech's iPoker network will be commencing the third European Championship of Online Poker on 24 November 2008 with a total guaranteed prize pool in excess of US$4 million.
Subsidiary Videobet is in the final stages of completing the Italian certification process for its multigame software which has been tailored specifically for the Italian market. It expects its software will be deployed initially in approximately 300 machines in the current and next quarter. Videobet has also signed an agreement with Sceptre Leisure for the supply of its multigame software for use in category B2/B3 machines (previously known as FOBTs) in the UK market. The deployment process has already commenced and Sceptre has committed to deploy a minimum of 800 machines during 2009.
Following the announcement of the licensing deal with Paramount (movie themes "Gladiator" and "Untouchables"), Playtech is actively exploring further licensing opportunities and is in active negotiations with the owners of several well known brands.
Mor Weizer, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "This has been another strong quarter for the Group in what is traditionally the slowest period of the year. The addition of new licensees combined with organic growth during the period has resulted in continued growth across all business divisions. Combined with the strong November start, the Board believes that Playtech is well positioned for further growth during the remainder of the year and into 2009.
"Notable during the period was the groundbreaking sale of certain assets and businesses to William Hill as well as signing this major company as a new licensee. Playtech is excited to be working with a company with the scale and breadth of William Hill in what we believe will be very significant deal for Playtech. The transaction is the first in a number of other potentially significant earnings enhancing affiliate acquisition opportunities. The Group continues to pursue significant business opportunities across all the regulated markets and the Board is confident regarding the Group's trading performance for the rest of 2008 and beyond."
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