Playtech Full Year 2012 Earnings Report

It's been a busy year for online gambling software provider and marketer
Playtech plc posted a strong set of full year 2012 results Thursday, showcasing a busy year with a number of significant industry deals.
The company's report on its year ended 31 December 2012 includes these highlights:
§ Gross income up by 51 percent to Euro 368.1 million (2011: Euro 243.6 million)
§ Total revenues up by 53 percent to Euro 317.5 million (2011: Euro 207.5 million)
§ Adjusted EBITDA up by 49 percent to Euro 186.7 million (2011: Euro 124.9 million)
§ Adjusted net profit up by 49 percent to Euro 168.5 million (2011: Euro 112.8 million)
§ Adjusted basic EPS up by 26 percent to 58.1 Euro cents per share (2011: 46.2 Euro cents per share)
§ Cash balances at year end of Euro 120.9 million (2011: Euro 164.8 million), net cash at year end of Euro 51.7 million (2011: Euro 137.3 million)
§ Recommended final dividend of 15.4 Euro cents per share, giving a total 2012 dividend of 23.2  Euro cents per share (2011: 16.5 Euro cents per share), up 41 percent.
Trading update:
Management reports that Playtech has made a strong start to 2013, with average daily revenues for the first 11 weeks of 2013 up over 15 percent on Q1 2012 and up 5 percent on Q4 2012
Operational highlights:
§ Playtech entered the FTSE 250 in September after achieving a Main Market listing in July
§ The company signed agreements with major operators for new products, including: Paddy Power, Gala Coral, Betclic Everest, Betfair, Betfred, Caliente and
§ Gala Coral project has been successfully completed, including Gala Casino, Gala Bingo and mobile sports betting, all powered by Playtech's integrated management system – IMS
§ Playtech first to introduce slot games in Italy following new regulation in Q4 2012
§ Betclic and Everest poker products launched on the and networks
§ Betfair commenced migration onto the iPoker network with completion planned for July 2013
§ Playtech launches its unique mobile hub combining mobile sports betting and gaming products with a variety of licensees
§ Betfred and Paddy Power launched mobile casino initially including a selection of 20 table and slot games, marking the first step towards a full mobile offering planned to launch later in 2013
§ Playtech launched first two sports betting licensees following the  acquisition of Geneity in Q1 2012
Post year end events:
§ Playtech's joint venture with Gauselmann, signed in January 2012, was awarded two licenses by Schleswig-Holstein for online casino and sports betting
§ Valuation of 29 percent stake in William Hill Online agreed for approximately GBP 424 million. Cash-on-cash return of more than 3.5 times, excluding software royalties. Payment expected by the end of April 2013, following completion.
§ The company has signed a landmark software and advisory services agreement with Ladbrokes, which will see the UK gambling group eventually migrate its online poker activities to the iPoker network, and a close collaboration on Ladbrokes Digital marketing
Roger Withers, non-executive chairman of Playtech, said Thursday:
"The year ending 31 December 2012 was an exceptional period in the continued development of Playtech. The company delivered another impressive financial performance and passed a number of significant corporate and operational milestones, strengthening its position as the clear market leader in the provision of software and services to the global gaming industry.
"Notably, the company achieved a Premium Listing on London's Main Market, reflecting both the short-term effort needed to make the progression and the longer term determination to comply with the responsibilities associated with a Premium Listing. Pleasingly, Playtech was included in the FTSE 250 Index in September and has, since inclusion, moved up approximately 30 places. The move provided greater visibility for the company, improved market liquidity and affords wider recognition of Playtech's strengths and consistent strong financial performance.
"In summary, Playtech has had another excellent year, incorporating some of its most significant achievements to date. Playtech continues to capitalise on its clear strategy and strong balance sheet. The Board is highly confident of the company's prospects in 2013 and beyond."
Mor Weizer, the chief executive of the company, said that during 2012, Playtech had expanded its product offering both organically and through acquisitions, secured 19 new licensees including major operators such as Gala Coral and Betclic Everest, further extended its relationships with existing licensees, and entered into significant new joint venture opportunities.
"The company has the operational capacity to stimulate future growth, specifically in mobile gaming, which enjoyed a triple digit percentage performance increase," Weizer said.
"In order to maintain its high level of customer service, Playtech invested in new product development related to the mobile hub, IMS and player portal, enabling operators to create a bespoke player experience, and grew its employee base by 62 percent to support the business and its customers."
Taking a more detailed look at online operations:
During the year, the marketing and CRM arm PTTS grew to become Playtech's second largest vertical. In July, PTTS had achieved an annualised adjusted EBITDA in excess of Euro 40 million in the first two quarters of 2012, fulfilling the condition for acceleration of the additional consideration of Euro 140 million. The additional consideration payable to the vendors is scheduled to be paid over two years from July 2012.
Online casino:
Online casino, Playtech's flagship product, delivered another outstanding performance in 2012. Revenues increased 33 percent from a combination of organic growth, the addition of new licensees, expansion of the games portfolio, now including all Ash Gaming product, growth from mobile and the revamped live dealer offering, which is now available through all interactive channels, including mobile. Branded games proved to be a valuable marketing tool for Playtech, and the company boasts it has the largest portfolio of games available across multiple delivery channels including online, mobile, TV and gaming terminals. During 2012, Playtech launched 35 games and 21 branded games.
Playtech claims that its Bingo network is the biggest in the industry, and continued to perform strongly in 2012, increasing revenue in the period by 19 percent to Euro 18 million (2011: Euro 15.1 million). Strong organic growth was complemented by the launch in the third quarter of Gala Bingo and in the fourth quarter of and a mobile bingo offering, which is available on Android and Apple iOS, supported by promotional activity during the final two weeks of the year.
Online poker:
The company's online poker enterprise continued to face challenges in the international market throughout 2012, but recorded an uplift in revenue in the latter part of the fourth quarter and the beginning of 2013 following a number of new licensees joining the iPoker network.
During the year, Gala Coral launched on the iPoker network followed by Betclic and Everest on the and networks and, which launched on and
These licensee wins in conjunction with Playtech's poker liquidity program initiated in August, significantly increased the poker network's liquidity – key to attracting poker players and licensees when choosing a supplier, and supported the on-going improvement in poker performance. Playtech also introduced a variation of Speed Holdem which increased revenue from cash games.
A number of significant licensees are in discussion with Playtech regarding joining the network. During the year a number of new CRM tools and an improved user interface supported by a revamped version of the poker client were launched.
The growth of mobile continues to outperform all other product channels at Playtech. The success by different operators has led to significant investments by the company. Following the acquisition of Mobenga, the company initiated an innovative internal programme, called the mobile hub, converging mobile sports betting and mobile gaming products into one offering.
Enabled by mobile touch screen functionality, the new mobile hub offers the same products that are available through other interactive channels and shares the same liquidity poker and bingo pools and jackpots. It also creates for the first time the ability to acquire players through the sports betting vertical and then offer other verticals within the same application, maximising the return on invested marketing.
Playtech's experience so far is that mobile presents an incremental opportunity as revenues, margins and activity levels are higher compared with other interactive channels. Mobile remains a key focus for the company and development continues of the next generation of the mobile offering.
Live Dealer:
Live dealer technology has evolved,  and with it the popularity of live gaming formats has grown significantly. In 2012, the Playtech live gaming product underwent a comprehensive redevelopment to include new features and functions appealing specifically to live gaming players. In parallel, the company introduced a mobile version for the live gaming product complementing the product offering available on other interactive channels. In 2012, Gala Coral migrated its live casino across its brands and Playtech expects additional licensees to migrate to its live gaming offering in the near future. In Spain, Playtech partnered in January 2013 with Casino Gran Madrid to offer live dealer services to the Spanish market.
Sports betting:
Sports is one of the largest gambling markets and frequently acts as the gateway for players to access other gaming experiences, Playtech management believes, noting that recent events have shown that sports is typically one of the first products to be approved in newly regulated markets.
In line with its strategy to provide a comprehensive solution in regulated markets, Playtech acquired Geneity, a fully integrated and complete sports platform. There are significant opportunites for this business, which has been integrated with both the Mobenga mobile sports product and IMS, and which has already won its first two sports licensees. Management expects to see significant growth from sports over the next quarters as more licensees are added.