11/5/09 – Swedish online poker group Entraction has enjoyed another successful quarter, boosting year-to-date numbers with a 14.6 percent increase in Q3 net sales to SEK 98.8 million for the quarter ending September 2009, up from SEK 86.2 million for the same period last year.
The company reported EBITDA up 10 percent to SEK 15.4 million, (Q3 2008: SEK 14 million) last year.
Highlights of the report included:
YTD 1st January – 30 September:
* Net sales of SEK 326.7 million, an increase of 34.3 percent. * EBITDA at SEK 49.3 million – up a very creditable 50.3 percent. * Operating profit of SEK 40.0 million, soaring 74.7 percent. * Profit after tax attributable to equity holders of the parent group reached SEK 60.5 million. * The number of registered players at the end of the period was 1 834 278, an increase of 44 percent.
For the third quarter 2009, the company posted:
* Net sales at SEK 98.8 million, an increase of 14.6 percent. * EBITDA at SEK 15.4 million, an increase of 10.0 percent. * Operating profit up 17.8 percent at SEK 12.6 million. * Profit after tax attributable to equity holders of the parent group at SEK 12.2 million. * The number of active players during the quarter was 131 842, an increase of 61 percent.
Management reported that Q3 earnings could have been better, but were negatively affected by hardware problems which caused service disruption in parts of the gaming system.
"By acting quickly and applying established procedures, we soon had the system functioning satisfactorily again," the report notes. "The overall effect of the incident was a lower rate of development in August, as the incident required considerable resources, unplanned hardware investments and compensation costs to partners.
"This had a negative impact of approx. SEK 2 million on Q3 earnings. Entraction is involved in talks with the supplier of the hardware and has requested compensation for the incident."
Despite this operational setback, the company still managed to show a good gross profit. "We are continuing our cost control in order to ensure costs do not rise more quickly than our income," said CEO Peter Anstrom. "From now on, we shall be focusing on increasing income from existing and new customers.
"We have taken various initiatives to increase sales. We shall, for example, strengthen our organisation by increasing the sales force. We have also initiated an activation programme to help our partners increase the percentage of active customers in the database."
Anstrom noted that the number of active players – mainly in southern Europe – increased by 61 percent on the 2008 and the activation programme, and flagged the fact that Sportingbet launched poker on Entraction's network in August, targeting selected markets in Europe (see previous InfoPowa report).
"We also signed agreements with four players in new markets. These included a land-based Russian casino and a company focusing on Greece," he said.
Entraction Holding is responsible for overall strategy and business development, as well as Group financing and supply of competence, whilst Entraction Solutions AB offers complete systems for Internet gaming and runs one of the largest poker networks in the world. The company offers partners software for poker, betting, casino and bingo, as well as peripheral services which include web design, gaming licences, operation, payment solutions, promotional tools and 24-hour end-user support.
The poker network is operated by subsidiaries in Malta which are licensed to market and engage in gaming operations.
Anstrom commented that the fourth quarter had started well for the company with more gaming in the poker network and higher betting sales. The company is currently engaged in discussions with several established gaming operators and sees further strong growth in new markets such as Spain, Italy and Russia.
The company has plans to increase its online casino income. Casino gaming surplus for the third quarter totalled SEK 15.8 million, which is 3 percent down on the previous year. However, the year-to-date figure was SEK 56.6 million, an increase of 28 percent. Casino net sales for the year-to-date amounted to SEK 54.2 million, an increase of 28 percent.
The development of Live Betting facilities continued during the quarter, with Management targeting early 2010 for the completed operational product.
The Entraction group currently employs 114 people.
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