Latest Results From Bwin.party

LATEST RESULTS FROM BWIN.PARTY

31st August, 2011 at 03:27:29
Source: http://www.azonlinecasinos.com

Strong current trading and the expectation of higher synergies in half year numbers

The Bwin.party digital online gambling group released its H1-2011 figures this week, reporting:

- Pro forma total revenue down 3% to Euro 398 million, primarily due to competitive pressures in poker, the closure of French internet casino operations and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, actual total revenue was up 51% to Euro 273.1 million.

- Pro forma EBITDA from continuing operations was down 21% to Euro 81.9 million for the same reasons, along with increased gaming duties from regulated markets. On a like-for-like basis, adjusting for French casino changes, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and increased gaming taxes, pro forma EBITDA was up 8% to Euro 98.9 million. Actual EBITDA from continuing operations was up 16% to Euro 50.9 million.

- Net cash at 30 June 2011 stood at Euro 183 milion (H1-2010: Euro 53.5 million)

- The group initiated a share buy-back programme for up to Euro 75 million of ordinary shares

- Expected annual synergies increased from Euro 55 million to Euro 65 million in 2013

- Current trading is strong - the Board remains confident on the full year outlook

* On 31 March 2011 Party Gaming plc merged with bwin Interactive Entertainment AG.

The actual results include Party Gaming's results throughout the entire period and the results of bwin Interactive Entertainment AG with effect from the merger on 31 March 2011. Pro forma results set out the financial performance of the Group as if the Merger had always been in place.

Commenting on the results, Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEOs said:

We have made excellent progress on integrating bwin and PartyGaming since the Merger was completed at the end of March 2011. The results for the first half reflect our transition to becoming a global leader in all four product verticals with strong market positions in all key regulated markets. The expansion of online gaming in newly regulating markets has delivered promising levels of revenue growth, albeit with additional costs in the form of gaming taxes and compliance costs.

"However, we are encouraged by a number of recent developments where governments are recognising the need to create a commercially sustainable regulated market without which consumers will simply seek out more attractive offers on the āEURĖœblack market'. We expect that this will result in further favourable long-term changes to existing and future regulatory frameworks.

The absence of the FIFA World Cup, the closure of French casino and increased gaming taxes need to be taken into account when comparing our year-on-year performance."

The duo revealed that on current trading and general outlook going forward: Since 30 June 2011, the Group's revenue performance has been strong. The suspension of Full Tilt Poker's gaming license at the end of June removed a major competitor in poker and consequently we have seen an improvement in player numbers and average daily revenues.

"In addition, our launch of cash game poker and certain casino games in Italy has started well, even though this is the seasonally weak trading period. Whilst the new regulatory regime in Spain requires gaming duties to be paid with effect from 29 May 2011, this is being met by our strong current trading performance.

"Whilst the regulatory picture can be expected to continue to shift against a challenging macroeconomic and competitive backdrop, our strong brands and market positions, healthy balance sheet and net cash resources mean that we remain confident about the Group's prospects for the rest of the year and beyond.

Further to the announcement on 30 June 2011, the Board has declared an interim dividend totalling Euro 15 million and has also initiated a programme to buy up to Euro 75 million ordinary shares in the period ending 30 June 2012.

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