NetPlay TV, the company behind interactive gaming services including SuperCasino.com, Jackpot247.com and Vernons.com, has seen its share price shoot up today despite slight drops on its year-end financial results.
Operating profits for the betting company fell marginally by £0.2m in 2015 to £6.02m (down from £6.24m in 2014), NetPlay TV said this morning.
The company's adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) fell by £600,000 to £2.7m, which is at the top end of market expectation after incurring betting and gaming duties of £3.8m. Adjusted profit before tax fell to £2.2m in 2015 from £3.2m in 2014.
Despite this, the company said it had seen a 17 per cent increase in new depositing players to 88,551 and a 14 per cent increase in active depositing players to 115,874 over the year. It also found it has an increased average revenue per active deposition player (for casino-only brands) of £328, compared to £316 in 2014.
The company's board of directors has recommended the payment of a final dividend comprising 0.34p per share plus an additional special dividend of 0.68 pence per share.
This special dividend proposal together with the final dividend and the interim dividend (paid in October 2015) brings the total dividend to 1.24p per share.
The company's share price jumped almost 17 per cent by 12.16pm (GMT) after its announcement, with shares trading at 10.20p.
Why it's interesting
NetPlay TV recently extended its key broadcast relationships with Channel 5, Viacom, and ITV for a further three years. The group also operates a specialist online digital marketing, product development and technology business, which provides a complementary and profitable revenue stream.
The firm seems to have weathered regulatory changes made to the gambling industry in recent months, as the online-focused point-of-consumption tax ate into the year-end profits of Ladbrokes and William Hill last month.
What NetPlay said
"We successfully navigated the impact of the UK Point of Consumption duty (POC) as a result of the initiatives implemented at the end of 2014 and positioned the company for future growth. Our synergistic acquisition of Otherside in August 2015 helped us to strengthen our capabilities and diversify the Group’s revenues," Bjarke Larsen, chief executive of Netplay TV, said.
"NetPlay TV continues to have a very strong balance sheet and remains highly cash generative, giving the Board continued confidence that the Group is well positioned to pursue not just bolt on opportunities but also more transformational deals, taking advantage of the organic growth and M&A opportunities that lie ahead."
Relatively contained profit losses - when compared with other gambling firms - and a strong start to 2016, with a 26 per cent increase in new depositing players and a 16 per increase in active depositing players over the same period in 2015, bodes well for the gambling firm in the first quarter of 2016.