Posted 2/17/11 : But online gambling group manages to better Q3 performance
The Q4 results released this week by online gambling operator Unibet were almost 16 percent down on the same period last year, but up on Q3 and showed improvement over the full year.
Highlights of the report included:
* Gross Winnings Revenue of GBP 35.5 (Q4/2009: 42.1) million for the fourth quarter of 2010
* Gross Winning Revenue for the full year 2010 GBP 147.5 (FY/2009: 138.3) million.
* Profit from operations of GBP 9.6 (Q4/2009: 11.0) million for the fourth quarter of 2010
* Profit from operations for the full year of GBP34.2 (FY/2009: 32.8) million.
* Profit before tax for Q4/2010 of GBP 9.2 (Q4/2009: 8.7) million.
* Profit before tax for the full year 2010 of GBP 33.8 (FY 2009: 28.9) million.
* Profit after tax for Q4/2010 of GBP 10.0 (Q4/2009: 8.4) million.
* Profit after tax for the full year 2010 was GBP 32.4 (FY 2009: 26.8) million.
* Operating cash flow in Q4 came in at GBP 11.7 (Q4/2009: 13.3) million
* Operating cash flow over the full year was recorded at GBP 44.2 (FY 2009: 42.7) million.
* Active customers at the end of Q4 were lower than the corresponding period in the prior year at 308,872 (Q4 end 2009: 365,865).
The bad news for investors is that the Board does not propose to pay a dividend for the financial year 2010. The cash reserve being built up combined with the Unibet’s strong profitability and cash flow gives the Board more flexibility to consider strategic opportunities including acquisitions.
However, the cash reserve may be distributed at a later stage should these opportunities not materialise.
“We are very happy to announce a strong set of results including 15 percent growth over the prior quarter, which demonstrates the underlying resilience of our business model, said Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Unibet.
"Even though the comparisons with the fourth quarter of 2009 were challenging, we have been able to improve our EPS through tight control over our operating costs, including improved marketing focus. We also continue to invest according to plan in the development of Kambi Sports Solutions and in the core Unibet platforms to address the evolving markets in Europe.”
Tjärnström reported on current trading, saying: “During the first six weeks of 2011 we see healthy revenue numbers for the group across our major markets.
"In particular, mobile betting is showing excellent growth combined with strong performance in [our] Casino & Games [operations].”
“We will continue to focus on our core markets to strengthen our position in the changing European landscape. Unibet will apply for licenses in the markets where conditions are evaluated as sound and profitable and with a low risk seen from a shareholder value perspective.”
Operational highlights included a move over to Playtech’s Virtue Fusion software, and the relaunch of Unibet’s Italian online poker site on the Ongame network in December 2010. The report notes that merger negotiations with Sportingbet failed (see previous InfoPowa reports) due to a media leak at a sensitive stage.
Tjärnström reported that Unibet has strengthened its Scandinavian presence by extending the contract with Jadestone, and has plans to re-enter the French market, having obtained an ARJEL licence some months ago. The group's b2b sportsbook offering, Kambi, already has commercial agreements in place with major operators like Paf, Nordicbet and Expekt.