Gambling Industry Acquisitions, Mergers and Financial News — Weekly Round-up for February 22, 2019

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Feb 22, 2019

Playtech Plc Publishes 2018 FY Report

Impacted by weaker B2B performance attributed to Asian market decline

Playtech announced its full year results for the 12 month period ending December 31, 2018 delivering Euro 1.24 billion in revenues, up 54 percent Year-on-Year (YoY).

Adjusted EBITDA was Euro 343 million, up 7 percent YoY impacted by a decline in Asia but offset by the Snaitech acquisition.

Adjusted net Profit was Euro 256.2 million, up 11 percent, while Reported Net Profit was down 50 percent to Euro 123.8 million. Net cash from operations was up 26 percent to Euro 387 million.

Playtech said it expects 2019 Adjusted EBITDA in the range of Euro 390 to Euro 415 million assuming a turn around of Sun Bingo, the assumption that Asia remains stable and a Euro 20 million positive impact from IFRS 16 adopted as of 1 January 2019.

Alan Jackson, Chairman of Playtech:

“In the face of changing market dynamics Playtech achieved significant strategic and operational progress in 2018 delivering a markedly improved financial profile. The Group achieved new licensee wins in key regulated markets, the UK, Europe and Latin America. The combination of progress in regulated markets and headwinds in unregulated activity saw regulated Group revenue increase to over 80%.

“The acquisition of Snaitech and the ongoing strong performance of this business has delivered geographical diversification of the Group’s revenue profile, but more importantly delivered a leading presence in the largest, and one of the fastest growing gambling markets in Europe.

“Following shareholder engagement, I am pleased to announce our new progressive shareholder return policy. The strength of the balance sheet and cash flows allow the Board to demonstrate its confidence in the future growth of the business through both a share buyback programme and a final recommended dividend.”

Sportsbetting Star Performer In French 2018 Full Year Report

Stakes in online sports betting increased 54 percent

French gaming authority L’Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) has released its full year 2018 results which despite delivering overall growth – led by a 54 percent increase in sports betting stakes – described the market as “fragile” due to lacklustre results in the poker and horse race betting sectors.

Key performance indicators for the full year 2018 include:

Total revenue for 2018 increased 25 percent year-on-year (YoY) to reach Euro 1.2 billion.

Total stakes reached Euro 11.4 billion, up 24 percent YoY and led by sports betting with stakes amounting to Euro 691 million.

Revenues from both poker cash games and tournament rake; as well as horse race betting increased 5 percent to reach Euro 258 million, and Euro 256 million respectively.

Around 2.7 million online players gambled last year, up 40 percent YoY.

Average spend per player declined Euro 52 million in 2018 to reach Euro 452 million (2017: Euro 504 million) – the dip is attributed to an increase in lower-spending customers as a backdraft from the FIFA World Cup campaign.

ARJEL confirmed discussions are currently ongoing in the French legislature on reforming the gaming industry’s existing turnover-based tax rate to a revenue-based rate bringing the market in line with other European jurisdictions.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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