Wednesday May 16, 2012 : Q1-2012 RESULTS RELEASED BY BWIN.PARTY
 
Few fireworks in first quarter numbers
 
Bwin.Party digital entertainment plc released its Q1-2012 numbers Wednesday, highlighting:
 
• Total revenue up 1 percent to Euro 215.9 million (Q1-2011: Euro 214 million) with strong growth in casino and other games partially offset by a softer gross win margin in sports betting
 
• Amounts wagered in sports betting up 11 percent to Euro 1,083.4 million (Q1-2011: Euro 973.2 million); net gaming revenue down 1 percent to Euro 70.6 million.
 
• Casino and other games revenue up 10 percent at Euro 71 million (Q1-2011: Euro 64.8 million); average daily casino revenue up 3 percent versus the previous quarter with an 8 percent increase in stakes mitigated by a small reduction in gross win margin
 
Party Poker revenue down 3 percent to Euro 52.2 million (Q1-2011: E uro 54 million); average daily poker revenue up 1 percent versus the previous quarter
 
• Bingo revenue down 15 percent year-on-year at Euro 15.6 million (Q1-2011: Euro 18.3 million) following a loss of market share and cannibalisation from the newly launched casino in Italy during 2011; average daily bingo revenue down 2 percent versus the previous quarter.
 
• Agreement signed with United Auburn tribe to launch online poker service in California once state regulations allow
 
• Sports betting licence from Schleswig-Holstein expected shortly, and applications in for Spain
 
Management reported that current trading since the end of March and the first quarter has been broadly in line with expectations, with overall revenue showing the same seasonal decline as seen in previous years, albeit with poker slightly weaker than expected.
 
"Average daily gross revenue in April (excluding other revenue) totalled Euro 2,687,900 (Q1 2012: Euro 2,888,000) reflecting a 7 percent decrease over the previous quarter in line with the same period last year," according to the management report.
 
"Average gross daily revenue for sports betting was Euro 860,700 (Q1 2012: Euro 923,900). For casino and other games it was Euro 892,200 (Q1 2012: Euro 913,300); for poker it was Euro 621,800 (Q1 2012: Euro 728,100); and for bingo it was Euro 313,200 (Q1 2012: Euro 322,700).
 
Joint CEOs Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger commented on the Q1 numbers:
 
“Casino has continued to perform well as has our sports business that saw strong growth in both player activity and amounts wagered, albeit at a lower margin compared with last year, which was particularly strong.
 
"The poker market remains challenging across Europe and while the number of unique players in our bingo business has started to grow again during the first quarter, this was not enough to reverse the impact of a drop in market share that took place in 2011.
 
“We remain on-track to realise the Euro 65 million of merger synergies as planned and these will help to mitigate the impact of additional gaming taxes as well as the current macroeconomic challenges faced by a number of the European economies.
 
“With the imminent launch of our download casino product on the Bwin platform, the Euro 2012 football tournament starting next month and the integration of our poker liquidity in the second half, we remain confident about the Group’s full year prospects.”
The report shows that in the first quarter real money signups were 449,200, up 7 percent on Q4-2011, but down 5 percent compared with Q1-2011.
 
Daily average player numbers in Q1-2012 reached 254,900, down 3 percent on the corresponding period last year; active players spent around Euro 9 each a day, a 2 percent improvement from Q1-2011.
 
During the first quarter the company spent GBP 25 million in buying back shares, and paid an instalment of $15 million to the US government as part of its non-prosecution settlement with the US Department of Justice.