Online firm Playtech cashes in on demand for social gaming

City A.M. Reporter
DEMAND for bingo products and casino games such as blackjack, roulette and slots helped online software group Playtech post a better-than-expected 64 per cent rise in first-half earnings.

Playtech develops software platforms for online and other games for clients including Irish bookmaker Paddy Power and gaming company Gala. It also has a 29 per cent stake in William Hill Online.

Chief executive Mor Weizer said yesterday the group had seen a good performance in its casino, bingo and mobile sports betting platform Mobenga.

“Mobile is becoming very important and one of the fastest growing segments in our industry,” he said in an interview.

He also said social gaming was becoming very appealing, not least because Facebook now allowed play for money.

“The convergence between real money and social (media) is almost inevitable,” he said.

Playtech reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of €91.2m for the six months to the end of June on revenue which doubled to €154m.

Weizer said the company had made a strong start to the third quarter, a traditionally quieter period, with daily average revenues up over 25 per cent versus the comparable period.

Analysts at Panmure Gordon said it was a strong first-half performance, with Ebitda €10m ahead of its €81.2m forecast. They expected the market consensus for the full year of €165m to rise.

Playtech also said finance director David Mathewson would retire, and would be replaced by company insider Ron Hoffman.