Friday, August 07, 2009

Playtech’s Gross Income Grows by 23% in Second Quarter of 2009, by Tom Jenkins - Poker News Daily - 31st July 2009

In recent news released by Playtech, which operates the popular iPoker Network, it was revealed that the company’s Gross Income for the second quarter of 2009 rose by 23.3% year over year to €33.1 million. That figure was slightly below the €33.8 million recorded during the first quarter of 2009.

For the first half of the 2009 calendar year, Playtech recorded Gross Income of €66.9 million, up 29.8% from the €51.6 million recorded during the first half of 2008. A statement released by the company explains, “The Board is confident the Company will deliver strong growth for the full year to December 2009 compared to 2008. However, owing to the slower than anticipated start to WHO and the general challenging economic environment impacting some of our licensees, the Board believes that full year trading will be below current market expectations.” The acronym WHO refers to William Hill Online, which partnered with Playtech to open the 2009 calendar year.

Total Group Revenues for Playtech were €27.0 million, a jump of 0.4% compared to the second quarter of 2008 and a drop of 4.2% from the €28.2 million recorded during the first quarter of this year. Poker revenues rose by 17.8% year over year to €8.2 million; that figure represented a 6.4% drop in comparison to the €8.8 million recorded in the opening quarter of 2009.

Playtech derived 62% of its revenue from the European continent, down from the 72% that this region provided during the second quarter of last year. Contrastingly, its portion of revenue from Asia Pacific grew from 21% during the second quarter of 2008 to 32% during the recently completed quarter. A partnership with Betfair to provide casino and Bingo software to the independent site is expected to add increased revenue during the fourth quarter. In addition, Playtech will provide its full spectrum of products, including casino, poker, and mobile games, to NetPlay TV.

With regards to its Italian market, Playtech notes, “The Italian poker network is exceeding management’s expectations and is now Italy’s third largest poker network by revenues generated by the network licensees, while further positive progress in regulations will bring new opportunities in Italy from this strong base.” In the wake of new internet gambling laws in Italy, PokerStars recently transferred players from its dot-com site to Playtech has also forged a partnership with the iPoker Network site Chili Poker “in anticipation of the introduction of new regulations liberalizing the French market for online gaming.”

The company also spent the second quarter hard at work on a strategic partnership with the Serbian State Lottery. Playtech will provide casino and poker products in the Serbian language in its first agreement with a country’s lottery. New Serbian players will join the world’s third largest online poker network behind PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. The iPoker Network is largest that does not accept players from the United States, boasting a seven-day running average of 5,500 real money ring game players. At its peak, expect to see over 10,000 poker hopefuls heading to the felts of the massive network to compete in cash games.

iPoker Network sites include BetFred, Boyle Poker, CD Poker, Expekt, Mansion Poker, Noble Poker, Paddy Power Poker, Poker Ocean, Titan Poker, and VC Poker. Playtech is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “PTEC.” The stock closed trading on Friday at ₤291.75, down ₤11.00 on the day (3.63%). Last September, prior to the worldwide economic meltdown, Playtech’s stock had been trading as high as ₤528.

The company was founded in 1999 and forged its first deal, with Swiss Casino, two years later. The iPoker Network came to life in 2004, one year removed from Chris Moneymaker defeating poker pro Sammy Farha in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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