Tuesday March 31,2015 : SPECTACULAR YEAR FOR AMAYA GAMING
Rational Group deal pays off bigtime.
Montreal-based and Toronto-listed online gambling group Amaya Gaming captured mainstream headlines Tuesday with an eight-fold increase in quarterly adjusted earnings, and an announcement that it intends to seek a secondary listing on Nasdaq.
Management advised shareholders that the company aims for growth in its core poker business (the Rational group acquired last year for $4.9 billion includes major online gambling companies Full Tilt and Pokerstars) through expansion into other areas such as sports betting, social gaming and fantasy sports.
"We anticipate the launch of sports betting in certain markets in the coming days with an expansion across the network to take place through the first half of 2015," said Amaya CEO David Baazov, adding that the execution of the company’s growth strategy will be through both organic growth and acquisitions.
Amaya has made important changes that switch it from a business-to-business oriented enterprise to one focused on business-to-consumer.
Company management said the group anticipates providing an update on the status of its Nasdaq listing application in the near future, and will provide updates on plans for other B2B assets in the near future. These could include Amaya Alberta (rebranded from Chartwell Technologies) and Cryptologic. Amaya sold Ongame to NYX last year.
On Monday, Amaya revealed that it has agreed to sell its Cadillac Jack slot machine manufacturing subsidiary to AGM for Cdn$476 million; that news followed an earlier announcement that Amaya would offload its Diamond Game subsidiary through the Innovo IPO.
Key financial results for the fourth quarter and the full year at Amaya included:
* Adjusted profits up at Cdn$85.7 million (Cdn$67 million), or 42 Canadian cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended December 31, from Cdn$11.1 million, or 12 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier;
* Quarterly revenue was up almost 10 times to Cdn$368.6 million, driven by record growth across its core B2C poker business;
* Full-year revenue came in at Cdn$668.2 million – very substantial growth year-on-year when compared to the corresponding period in 2013 when the company recorded Cdn$145.9 million;
* Adjusted FY EBITDA of Cdn$292.7 million (FY 2013: Cdn$62.6 million);
* Adjusted earnings of Cdn$154.6 million, up from Cdn$16.7 million;
* Sales and marketing costs massively increased from 2013's Cdn$2.8 million to Cdn$63 million in 2014;
* In the UK, the company anticipates that the impact of point of consumption tax is likely to be Cdn$45 million in 2015;
* Plans well advanced to launch full suites of online casino games at Full Tilt and Pokerstars before mid-year;
* Amaya hopes to achieve licensed status in New Jersey within the next few months, and continues to lobby for regulated online poker in Pennsylvania and California.
* Estimated revenues for 2015 could significantly exceed Cdn$1 billion.
Amaya confirmed Tuesday that its PokerStars sportsbook, currently in beta-test format, accepted its first sports wager Tuesday