Significant rise in sales and a sound manager
Online gambling group Party Gaming plc has reported a
significant 32 percent rise in fourth quarter sales – a
hopeful sign that punters are bacck enjoying a wager
after a hard year.
Sales rose to $132.2 million
in the three months to December 31 from $100.4 million
in the same period in 2008, helped by two acquisitions
and a particularly strong performance in its online
Finance director Martin Weigold
told reporters that casino revenue was boosted by a
customer who won $5 million in one of the group's large
jackpots and recycled $2 million of that win back into
Party Gaming's casino website.
Weigold said the
company expects to report double digit sales and profit
growth in the year ahead.
The bullish outlook
for 2010 sits comfortably with the group's 2009
earnings, which it expects to be ahead of its own board
Weigold said market consensus is for
EBITDA of $132 million in 2010, and Party Gaming expects
to outperform this.
Alongside its Internet
casino improvements, the gambling group reversed an
18-month trend of quarter-on-quarter revenue declines
for its online poker division, posting a 9 percent rise
in sales to $49.1 million.
The company's poker
operations had been under pressure due to stiff
competition from rivals, and the company has reacted by
increasing the bonuses paid and expanding its loyalty
program to retain players.
It already has a
growing presence in Italy, and with France and denmark
due to formalize regulation this year and next, the
company is confident of its future growth prospects.
Party's chief executive, Jim Ryan, told reporters
the company was in "active discussions" with a number of
parties, fuelling speculation that a major deal could be
on the cards in 2010. Bwin has been repeatedly mentioned
by analysts as the partner of choice (see previous
The gambling group said that
it is pursuing more business-to-business and government
deals after reaching an agreement earlier in January to
provide on online gaming platform for the operator of
the Danish national lottery (see previous InfoPowa
The company also announced the
appointment of Per Widerstrom, previously CEO of the
French online gambling group Mangas Gaming. Widerstrom
is take up responsibilities with Party Gaming as group
chief operating officer, a newly created post which
effectively frees up CEO Ryan to focus on M&A and new