Playtech profits rocket on boom in net gambling

PROFITS at internet gambling software firm Playtech skyrocketed last year as partners such as Bet365 and PaddyPower enjoyed bumper years.

The company was also boosted by record profits at William Hill Online, the internet arm of the popular bookie, which Playtech recently agreed to sell its stake in.

Playtech signed new contracts last year as online betting firms expanded into new markets in Europe, and chief executive Mor Weizer said he was confident of another year of astounding growth.

“I feel we are definitely able to secure our position and create similar improvements,” Weizer told City A.M. He hinted that investors were likely to see a large chunk of the £424m Playtech is selling its 29 per cent stake in William Hill for.

“We have to decide what the capital return to shareholders will be,” he said.

Weizer is planning to grow the company partly via acquisitions, although the liberalisation of the US’s online gambling market also presents an opportunity.

Earlier this week, Playtech and Ladbrokes announced a tie-up that will see Playtech’s software used in the UK’s second-largest bookie’s revamped website.

Playtech’s profit rose 49 per cent to €168.5m (£145.3m), once exceptional charges were stripped out. Revenue rose 53 per cent to €317.5m.

Shares, which have almost doubled in the last year, rose 4.5 per cent.