Bwin.party surges 14pc despite loss

 
Steve Dinneen
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Bwin.party surged 13.91 per cent yesterday after an upbeat forecast, despite slumping to a first half loss.

The world’s biggest listed online gaming firm, formed by the merger of Austria’s Bwin and PartyGaming earlier this year, reported a pre-tax loss of €50.8m (£45m), down from a profit of €22.8m the year before.

It was hit by higher gaming taxes, stronger competition in poker, tough comparisons with last year’s World Cup and significant restructuring costs.

Bwin.party said its performance had been strong so far in the second half following the suspension of Full Tilt’s European poker licenses. The rival gaming firm was indicted in the US for alleged gambling offences, money laundering and bank fraud.
Analysts had predicted that the suspension would be positive for remaining European poker operators.

Bwin.party also said it had lifted its target for annual cost savings to €65m from €55m at the time of the merger.

Shares in Bwin.party have lost half their value since the start of the year owing to regulatory uncertainty.

A company spokesman said yesterday: “We remain confident about the group’s prospects for the rest of the year and beyond.”