he Austrian firm reported that its bottom line was affected by increased expenses along with depreciation, amortization and impairment charges while recording its highest gross gaming revenues of 420.9 million euros, a rise of 19 % on 2007, alongside record net gaming revenues of 364.5 million euros, an increase of 16.6 % year-on-year.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 3.6 % for the year to 65.2 million euros from 62.9 million euros while adjusted results after tax came in at 15.1 million euros, up on 2007's 10.2 million euros.
Bwin revealed that its operating expenses rose by over 21 % last year to 360.2 million euros "mainly due to the continued development of the core products, sportsbetting and poker, and to marketing expenses in connection with the European Soccer Championship". It revealed that it had also stepped up its investment in new technologies in payment handling, customer loyalty programs and in the field of security.
There was an 18 % rise in marketing expenses over the year to 132.9 million euros as it promoted itself during last summer's Euro 2008 soccer tournament while personnel costs also increased to 95.5 million euros due to its growing number of employees. Last year it had 1,409 employees, an increase of 24.7 % from 2007, excluding freelance staff.
Finally, additional expenses rose 19.6 % to 148.9 million euros as it 'drew on the services of external providers and consultants' for the development of its sportsbetting, poker and payment platforms while banking costs increased by eight percent to 29 million euros. "Due to the expanded product portfolio, expenses for services rendered were, therefore, up 42.6 % from 28.5 million euros in the year 2007 to 40.6 million euros," read a statement from Bwin.
However, the firm is optimistic on the future and stated that it expects to report a twelve percent increase year-on-year in gross gaming revenues for the first quarter of this year of between 430 to 445 million euros. In addition, a dividend is planned for the 2009 financial year with earnings of at least 100 million euros.