Strong Year For Playtech

Another year of double-digit underlying revenue growth, but increased UK taxation bites

Online gambling software provider Playtech plc announced its FY-2015 results Thursday, showcasing strong growth but heavier taxation burdens.
Highlights reported by the company included:
* Double-digit revenue increase of 38 percent to Euro 630.1 million;
* Adjusted earnings up 22 percent to Euro 251.9 million;
* Net profit up 8 percent at Euro 205.9 million;
* Dividend up 8 percent at 28.5 Euro cents;
* Pre-tax profits slightly lower (1 percent) at Euro 142 million due to the impact of the UK's p.o.c. tax;
* Gaming activities continued to drive growth, with a strong 'pipeline of opportunities' and significant business anticipated this year from existing and newly regulated markets;
* 16 percent growth on a constant currency basis (excluding acquisitions / adding back impact of the UK POC tax);
* Cash balances at year-end of Euro 857.9 million – the company observes that in the absence of suitable acquisitions it may return some of the cash pile to investors;
* Regulated revenues now growing faster than the general market, with 41 percent of gaming revenue coming from regulated markets (FY-2014: 36 percent);
* Particularly strong growth in the UK market driven by Sky, GalaCoral, Ladbrokes, Betfair and white-label customers;
* 10 new licensees signed in 2015 including Sun Bingo, Marca, win2day and Mr Green; base
* Landmark exclusive agreement signed with DC Comics after the year end;
* Financial division delivered FY revenue of $100.2 million;
* Adjusted EBITDA since acquisition up at $17.8 million on margin of 26 percent;
* Active CFD customers up 30 percent over 2014, with first time depositors (FTDs) up 25 percent;
Turning to current trading, the company noted that average daily revenue in the gaming division for the first 53 days of Q1-2016 was up over 12 percent year on year and up over 2 percent on Q4-2015 due to growth across the business and new customers in Asia.
Subsidiaries Markets Limited and Momentum have both seen a strong start to 2016 driven by strong volatility with positive momentum from direct business following improvements to business models.
Alan Jackson, chairman of Playtech, said:
"Whilst 2015 was an incredibly busy year for Playtech, our operational performance was stronger than ever. The Gaming division continues to drive our growth, and the pipeline of opportunities continues to be very strong.
"We expect significant wins in 2016, led by our pioneering omni-channel offering and driven by existing and newly regulated markets. Our newly created Financials division is developing well and we have further improved its business model.
"We have many opportunities for further growth, both organically and through M&A, with active discussions on a number of potential acquisitions in the Gaming division. Should suitable acquisitions not be available, consideration will be given to returning cash to shareholders as we look to maintain an efficient capital structure.
"Taken together, we are confident in strong growth in 2016 and beyond."
Read the detailed report here:
http://otp.investis.com/clients/uk/playtech1/rns/regulatory-story.aspx?cid=263&newsid=676495

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