bwin.party reports annual rise in net revenues; PartyPoker Premier League V Just Days Away


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The world’s largest listed online gambling operator, bwin.party Digital Entertainment, has released its financial results for 2011 showing an over 93 percent year-on-year increase in net revenues to €674.5 million.

Total revenues for the twelve-month period grew similarly to €691.1 million when compared with 2010 despite the closure of its French casino and the 2010 FIFA World Cup ‘primarily due’ to its merger.

2011 pro forma earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose by three percent year-on-year to €199.3 million due to synergies ‘coming through more quickly than expected’ and ‘offsetting increased gaming duties from regulated markets’ while actual clean earnings from continuing operations improved by 79 percent when compared to 2010 to €168.3 million.

The firm declared that it had realised synergies of €23.3 million in 2011 including five million Euros related to discontinued operations and was ‘ahead of target’ with plans to deliver €40 million in savings this year and €65 million by 2013.

All of this saw bwin.party report an actual loss after tax from continuing operations of €414.7 million and a total deficit post tariff of €431 million although it described current trading as ‘robust’ with average gross daily revenues up two percent quarter-on-quarter to €2.93 million.
“We made excellent progress in 2011,” read a statement from Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger, Co-Chief Executive Officers for Bwin.Party.

“The swift execution of a number of integration plans for our technology, people, products and brands has been rewarded with financial synergies coming through more quickly than expected, offsetting increased gaming duties payable as markets regulate. We remain on-track to deliver approximately €40 million of synergies this year and €65 million in 2013.

“We expect to gain competitive advantage this year from additional scale and improved flexibility that will flow from the integration and migration of our main products to a single technology platform. As integration projects are completed, we are channelling more resources into driving innovation across the business and through new channels including our proprietary mobile gaming platform. We are also extending our reach into new areas of digital entertainment such as social gaming where we see significant potential.

“The proposed regulatory changes in Europe, particularly those in Germany, which were announced shortly after completion of the merger last year and that had a significant adverse impact on our share price one week later, have resulted in an impairment of some of the goodwill acquired as part of the merger. Had the merger completed one week later, no such impairment would have been required. This is a non-cash charge and the business has continued to deliver an impressive operational and financial performance, generating strong cashflow.”

PartyPoker Premier League V Just Days Away...

The full line-up is in and the groups have been set for this year’s edition of the PartyPoker.com Premier League V and with the Montesino in Vienna playing host this Wednesday, it’s going to be a busy week for poker in Austria.

The Premier League V – which will run alongside the World Poker Tour Vienna festivities this week – features a grand total of 14 professional poker players and two amateur qualifiers, all of whom will post the $125,000 to compete for a huge prize pool.

The field has now been split into two groups, with Group A featuring Tony G, Andrew Frankenberger, Erik Seidel, Luke Schwartz, Phil Laak, Eugene Katchalov and the first online qualifier, while Group B consists of Sam Trickett, Dan “Jungleman” Cates, Patrik Antonius, Vanessa Selbst, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Bertrand Grospellier, Scott Seiver and the second qualifier.

As you can see, there are no soft spots in the competition but only the top three points-earners from each eight-player group will advance automatically, with the remaining two seats in the final being settled by a heads-up play-off by the fourth and fifth place finishers in both groups.

A winner will then be crowned in a straight-up shoot-out at the Premier League’s eight-handed final table, with a huge 1st place payout, the PartyPoker Premier League title and bragging rights across the poker world awaiting the winner as well as a seat in this year’s WPT World Championship.

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Bwin.party earnings up, ready for regulatory changes...

LONDON, March 29 - Bwin.party Digital (BPTY.L), the world's largest listed online gaming company, reported a rise in earnings in its maiden set of results and said it was well-placed to take advantage of regulatory and technological shifts in the gaming industry.

The company, which was formed by the merger of Austria's Bwin and PartyGaming last year, reported a 3 percent rise in clean EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) to 199.3 million euros ($264.8 million) in 2011.

The Gibraltar-based firm said synergies coming through faster than expected had offset increased gaming duties in regulated markets, pushing earnings up to just shy of consensus analyst estimates of 202 million euros provided by Bwin.party.

"We expect to gain competitive advantage this year from additional scale and improved flexibility that will flow from the integration and migration of our main products to a single technology platform," co-chief executives Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger said in a statement.

Bwin.party said pro forma total revenue inched up to 816 million euros, compared to 814 million euros in 2010, despite the closures of its French casino and the World Cup football tournament in 2010.

The firm said current trading was robust with average gross average daily revenue 2 percent higher than in the fourth quarter of 2011 at 2.93 million euros.

"We have secured strong business partners in the United States ahead of any regulation there and have also applied for a license in Spain which is expected to regulate in the second quarter of this year," Ryan and Teufelberger said.

The company has also applied for a license in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany.

The firm said it will add more casino games, improve poker and bingo offerings, and prepare for the UEFA Euro 2012 soccer competition and the London 2012 Olympics.

Bwin.party will pay a final dividend of 1.56 pence per share, making a total of 3.12 pence per share for the year.

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