12/17/09 – Despite the tough business environment, the European-facing online gambling group Gaming VC Holdings SA appears to be holding its own in a trading update issued midway through the final month of its trading year.
Excluding revenues from Betboo, the recently acquired South American online gaming business, the average daily revenues in Q4-09 have increased by 30 percent from the same period last year to Euro 166 000 (Q4-08 Eur 128 000).
Gaming revenues in Q4-09 have been averaging Euro 124 000 (Q4-08 Euro 107 000) while Sports revenues have been averaging some Euro 42 000 (Q4-08 Euro 21 000).
Sports margins in Q4-09 have been averaging 29.5 percent (Q4-08 11.1 pc)
The Sports margins derive mainly from the Group's Betaland brand licensed in Malta.
Gaming VC expects to complete the sale Betpro, it's brand licensed in Italy, to a third party for a nominal sum imminently. The effective date of disposal is 31 August 2009 and hence the figures in Q4-09 exclude the results of that business. The Net Gaming Revenues from Betpro for the 8 month period to 31 August 2009 amounted to Euro 500 000, less than 2 percent of the group's total NGR over the same period.
Group NGR, excluding Betboo, for the 350 day period from 1 January 2009 to 15 December 2009 have been Euro 50 million, compared to Euro 48 million for the 350 days to 15 December 2008, and Euro 50.1 million for the 12 months ended 31 December 2008.
Additionally, revenues from the newly acquired Betboo business have been averaging BRL 31 000 (Euro 12 000) per month in the period since it was acquired on 2 July 2009.
The Group had Euro 18.3 million in cash at bank at close of business on 11 December. Gaming VC has already paid Euro 12.5 million in dividends during 2009.
The trading statement refers to the company's intention to shift domiciles from Luxembourg to the Isle of Man and includes the statement:
"For legal reasons, the restructuring is slightly different to that originally envisaged, in that it is now expected to involve the hive-down of the Luxembourg holding company's assets and liabilities to a newly incorporated Isle of Man subsidiary followed by a liquidation of the Luxembourg holding company and in specie distribution of the shares of the Isle of Man company to shareholders.
"This may give rise to a taxable event for certain shareholders – further details will be set out in the circular and shareholders should take their own advice on any taxation implications for them. The Directors continue to believe that redomiciliation would be in the interests of the company with benefits expected to include:
* The absence of a 15 percent Luxembourg withholding tax on dividends
* The application of the Takeover Code to the new Isle of Man holding company
* The eligibility of the shares in the new Isle of Man holding company for CREST
* More modern corporate law
* The ability to facilitate special dividends or share buy-backs