BWIN STRUGGLES CONTINUED IN 2014
11th March, 2015 at 10:15:43
Core earnings fall 6% - the third year running of decline.
The European online gambling group Bwin.Party.Digital Entertainment suffered its third straight annual fall in core earnings in 2014, seeing earnings decline 6% to Euro 101.2 million as analysts expected.
Whilst there are bright spots among the results, the overall performance is unlikely to enhance the value of the company, which is reportedly the subject of an acquisition deal with presently unknown parties.
Audited results for the year ended 31 December 2014 show that:
* Sports betting revenues were flat at Euro 237.1 million - a one% improvement;
* Casino and games revenues declined 6% to Euro 203.7 million;
* Poker revenues plunged 29% to 81.7 million;
* Bingo revenues were down 2% at Euro 51.9 million;
* Other revenues were up 13% at Euro 37.5 million;
* Average daily player numbers declined 14% to 1,479,000;
* Yield per player was up 6% at Euro 10.4;
* New player signups were down 11% at 8,151,000;
* Total revenue of Euro 611.9 million (2013: Euro 652.4 million) reflected the full year impact of ISP blocking in Greece and further declines in poker, partially mitigated by the FIFA World Cup; nationally regulated and/or taxed markets representing 56% of total revenue (2013: 53 percent);
* Gross gaming revenue through mobile grew by 99% to Euro 153.2 million (2013: Euro 76.9 million) with solid growth across all verticals;
* Planned cost reductions of Euro 30 million within clean EBITDA were exceeded and a further Euro 15 million of additional savings remain on-track for 2015;
* The company sustained a non-cash impairment charge of Euro 104.4 million (2013: Euro 9.4 million) against poker-related and other intangible assets and non-core investments resulting in a Euro 94.3 million loss after tax (2013: profit of Euro 41.1 million);
* Management recommended a FY dividend of 1.89 pence per share - up 5 percent;
Chief executive officer Norbert Teufelberger said Wednesday that current trading indicated betting volumes are ahead but softer than expected. Gross win margins resulted in a decline in average daily revenues, but trading overall has been broadly in-line with expectations.
"We have made solid progress this year in growing our share of revenues from nationally regulated and/or taxed markets, increasing our mobile footprint and reducing our cost base," Teufelberger commented in his report.
"However, the full year impact of ISP blocking in Greece coupled with the structural decline of regulated poker markets in Continental Europe affected our overall financial performance for the year.
"Having announced our shift to a label-led approach in August, we are now accelerating our transformation. This programme is already improving our operational effectiveness and customer focus, both of which are key drivers of our long-term financial performance, with particular opportunities flowing from the commercialisation of our technology through our new Studios business unit."
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