Online gaming giant, bwin.party digital entertainment plc, owner of partypoker, this week released a trading update for the third quarter of 2015 and once again revenue fell.
Total revenue in the nine months to September, 2015, was down 8% to €429.9 million, something Chief Executive of bwin.party, Norbert Teufelberger, blamed on the absence of a major football tournament; in 2014 there was the FIFA World Cup to attract punters to bwin.party’s sportsbook.
In addition to the sportsbook revnues falling, casino revenue dropped 8% to €54.3 million while revenues from partypoker plummeted to €13.3 million, a fall of some 26% from the same period in 2014.
The company’s Foxy Bingo and Cheeky Bingo improved their revenues by a combined 5% to €12.7 million, while bwin.party’s EBITA – Earnings Before Interest, Taxes and Amortization – also increased by 5% to €79.8 million, a figure that would have increased some 26% had it not been for the increased VAT in Europe and the Point of Consumption Tax imposed by the British government.
Speaking of the latest trading figures, Teufelberger said:
“Whilst our year-on-year revenue performance has been held back by the impact of EU VAT and the absence of a major football tournament, we have a made a strong start in the fourth quarter, particularly in sports betting and casino. Our operating and financial performance is continuing to improve on the back of the changes that we initiated in previous periods - we have already achieved our full year target for cost savings of €15m and anticipate making further savings in Q4.
"Despite the impact of the introduction of VAT in a number of EU markets, as well as the POCT that was introduced on 1 December 2014, our Clean EBITDA for the nine months ended 30 September is 5% ahead of the same period last year. Excluding the impact of EU VAT and the POCT, Clean EBITDA would have been €96.1m, an increase of 26% on the same period last year.
"Current trading has been strong, despite the impact of EU VAT and further declines in poker. With solid progress on expanding our mobile footprint and the full year benefit of the cost savings already made, we remain confident about the outlook.”
Directors Purchase More Than £250,000 Worth of Shares
EBITA is a common Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in business circles and is widely used as a measure of efficiency and profitability, so this figure increasing is one of the reasons the share price of bwin.party increased following the announcement.
Another reason for the share price increase is a trio of bwin.party directors bolstered their share holding by purchasing a combined 249,944 shares, as they try to show their confidence in the company.
Chief Financial Officer, Martin Weigold, purchased the most, adding 100,000 bwin.party shares to his portfolio, while Chairman Philip Yea bought 99,944 shares. Teufelberger increased his holding by 50,000 shares, increasing his total holding to 12,205,056 which are worth a massive £13,645,252 at the current share price.
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