Written On 4/28/11 By Recentpoker.com staff writer Lenny Wasman :
Positive start to 2011 with strong pipeline despite an uncertain market environment
Online gambling software developer Playtech plc has released a healthy trading update for the three months ending 31 March 2011, highlighting the following key performance indicators:
On a like-for-like basis excluding France:
* Gross income up 20 percent and total revenues up 16 percent vs Q1/10
* Casino revenues up 23 percent on Q1/10 to Euro 25.4 million; but 2 percent lower than Q4/10
* Poker revenues down 25 percent on Q1/10 to Euro 5.7 million; and 3 percent lower than Q4/10
* Gross income up 7 percent to Euro 46.6 million, (Q1/10: Euro 43.4 million)
* Total revenues up 2 percent to Euro 36.7 million, (Q1/10: Euro 36.1 million)
* EBITDA for the three months ending 31 March 2011 expected to be not less than Euro 26.5 million
* Bingo revenues totalled Euro 3.5 million, up over 100 percent on Q1/10, (Q1/10: Euro 1.7 million) reflecting a partial contribution from subsidiary Virtue Fusion for comparable Q1/10 period; and up 4 percent on Q4/10
* Share of profit in William Hill Online up 34 percent to Euro 9.9 million, (Q1/10: €7.4 million) up 41 percent from Q4/10
* Net cash at 31 March of Euro 65 million, after acquisition consideration paid in the quarter for Virtue Fusion, GTS and IG, but before payment of proposed final dividend of approximately Euro 23.3 million
Management reports that daily activity for the first 23 days of Q2/11 is more than 13 percent ahead of Q2/10 (excluding France) and more than 1 percent ahead of Q2/10 on an absolute basis.
Daily activity in Q2/11 is over 1 percent above the daily average of the previous quarter.
Operational highlights of the quarter included:
* Videobet’s roll-out for Global Draw is on track to be substantially complete in Q2/11. Over 17,000 machines have already been converted, including many from the Ladbrokes contract signed in August 2010
* First network in Italy to launch Euro 250 buy-in poker tournaments under new Italian regulations
* Preparations well underway in advance of the introduction of the late Italian casino regulations
* Large number of PTEC casino games and casino products already approved and more in process
* Maltese license provisional approval received for Live Casino product
* Successful launch of Betfair live casino to complement web and download products
* Acquisition of Intelligent Gaming completed, bringing casino floor management system capability to complement the Videobet offering
* Completion of acquisition of PTTS Turnkey solution businesses on track for end-Q2 completion
* Licensee discussions underway in a number of regulated and soon to be regulated markets
* Strong pipeline of licensee prospects in both existing and newly regulating markets
Commenting on the KPI’s, Playtech’s chief executive, Mor Weizer, said:
“We have made a solid start to 2011. With the roll-out of Videobet’s UK contracts nearing completion, together with the long-awaited regulation of Italian casino and cash tables due this quarter, we continue to develop new sources of regulated market income. We are also in late stage discussions with a number of potential major new licensees across a number of jurisdictions both in Europe and elsewhere.
"While there remains some near term uncertainty as to the regulatory development in a number of jurisdictions, such as Germany, we continue to invest in positioning ourselves for whatever long term opportunities come out of such regulation. The recent acquisition of PTTS, with integration well under way, brings us key capabilities and relationships in this regard.
“The actions taken by the US Department of Justice against certain US-facing poker sites on 15 April has prompted considerable volatility, however Playtech believes that this action will in the longer term have a positive benefit to the iPoker networks both in the dot.com segment and also in the European regulated markets.
“We have made good progress on the appointment of a permanent CFO and will expect to update the market in due course.”