laytech, the second-biggest company on London's Alternative Investment Market, said gross income in the quarter to March 31 totalled 43.4 million euros (us$ 57.8 million) while total revenues increased by 25 % year-on-year to 36.1 million euros.
This was driven chiefly by its casino product, which grew 27% year on year to 24.2 million, while poker, by contrast, fell 4% year on year to 8.5 million euros. Playtech also indicated that its first quarter earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) will be more than 26.5 million euros.
The company said daily average royalty revenues in April are running slightly ahead of those experienced during the first quarter suggesting an encouraging start to what is normally considered to be a quieter quarter. "We continue to see strong interest in our products and a good pipeline of prospective licensees in regulated and soon-to-be regulated markets," it added in a statement today.
The business’ profit from its share of William Hill Online was up almost half to 7.4 million euros, an increase of 49% year on year, and the company also saw the first contribution from Playtech’s February acquisition of UK bingo business Virtue Fusion, with bingo revenue totalling 1.7 million euros and Virtue Fusion also contributing to casino and other revenue streams.
Operational highlights included the formation of Playtech’s SciPlay joint-venture with US lottery giant Scientific Games in January to deliver online technology to government-backed lotteries; Boyle Sports signing Virtue Fusion for bingo and the launch of Playtech’s new Italian bingo network.
Chief executive Mor Weizer said: “Our final numbers for the first quarter of 2010 reflect substantial revenue growth and build on the strong progress made in the last three months of 2009. Our two recent acquisitions [Virtue Fusion and Gaming Technology Solutions] have integrated well [and] I believe Playtech remains well positioned to add licensees in a number of newly regulating markets and can look to the rest of 2010 with confidence.”
The figures were greeted positively by analysts. James Hollins of Daniel Stewart said: “Given the strong first quarter and current trading, supported by expected licensee wins to come in key regulating markets (notably France) and acquisitions integrated and progressing well, we retain our 625p price target and Key Buy recommendation.”
Paul Leyland of Collins Stewart said: “Given Playtech’s attractive growth profile, increasing regulated market exposure and ‘arms length’ off shore risk as a software provider, the stock continues to be our preferred online gambling play.”