Friday, September 02, 2011

Preview: Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, 888 Holdings, Gaming Business News, by Greg Tingle


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Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Financial Heads Up...

Wednesday could be one for the gamblers with online gaming operators Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment and 888 Holdings both reporting.

888 has already revealed its revenue figure for the first half – it made $153.m, an improvement of 18.1% on a year earlier. Panmure Gordon thinks earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) will be up 52% from last year at $19.1m, giving earnings per share of 4.5 cents.

“With the strong start to Q3 and, despite the planned increased investment, we believe the risk to our forecasts is on the upside,” the broker added.

As for Bwin.Party, UBS thinks the company will report a drab set of figures, with first half revenues of €425m. Even that is better than Panmure Gordon is expecting; the latter is predicting revenue of €410m.

Bwin.Party And 888 Update - 31st August 2011...

888’s rival digital saw its shares rally 15.3p to 125.3p, as investors warmed to its first set of results since it was created by the merger of PartyGaming and Austria’s bwin earlier this year.

The numbers revealed cost savings from the deal would be £8.9m more than expected and recent trading had been strong.

But it plunged to a half-year loss of £27m from profits of £53m after a £54.4m accounting charge.

The half-year dividend is 1.56p. said it was benefiting from the suspension of rival Full Tilt Poker’s license.

It hopes the US may one day reopen its doors. In the meantime, it is grappling with increased regulation in some European markets and the higher taxes this brings.

Bwin blames poker for drop in profits...

Online gaming firm revealed a drop in profits after it was dealt a blow from greater competition in poker markets.

The owner of PartyCasino, Foxy Bingo and PartyPoker said like-for-like revenues dropped three per cent to 398 million euros (£352.2 million) in the six months to June 30.

In its first set of results since the merger of Bwin and PartyGaming in March, the group said it came up against stronger comparatives with the previous year, which was boosted by the World Cup.

Revenues at its poker business declined 10 per cent to 104.9 million euros (£92.8 million) amid greater competition, including a campaign from rival 888 fronted by former Australian cricketer Shane Warne.

Underlying profits fell 21 per cent to 72.4 million euros (£64.1 million) after the group, which generates a quarter of its income in Germany, was hit by increased gaming duties as it launched in newly regulated markets.

Bwin said the number of new poker players signing up to its brands increased six per cent to 373,700 in the period, but active player days were down 11 per cent.

Revenues at its bingo arm were down eight per cent to 33 million euros (£29.2 million) amid intense competition in the UK, while sports betting revenues were down two per cent. But its casino and poker division saw revenues increase two per cent to 124.3 million euros.

*The writer has conducted b2 with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment

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