Poor half year results for NetplayTV

Restructuring for terrestrial television knocks half year results

NetplayTV plc, an interactive television gambling group that is usually the bearer of acquisitive and good news for investors, has posted a GBP 3.2 million loss in its half year results, due mainly to the one-off cost of restructuring the company to take advantage of the more liberalised television regime in the UK.

The firm announced that revenues fell 8 percent to GBP 9.3 million, and that the sale of its premium rate telephony business, Abstract Games earlier this year had affected performance.

Martin Higginson, chief executive of the group said these were one-off costs necessary to secure the further advance of the company in interactive television gambling, now permitted at certain hours by the UK regulator.

“These decisions have allowed us to fully exploit the UK terrestrial TV opportunities and are an important move if we are to enter into long-term deals with major global broadcasters,” Higginson emphasised. He claimed that recent agreements with leading companies had positioned the group in a dominating position in the the UK terrestrial and digital TV interactive gaming market, enabling it to generate stronger and better quality revenues.

The company release showed gross bets up 31 percent to GBP 204 million for the half yeat to end June 2009. Management expects this to continue to grow with the addition of terrestrial TV channels STV and Channel Five in late September 2009. The number of active players has grown five-fold since launching on terrestrial TV in mid-September 2009.

NetPlay also flagged the launch its interactive mobile to TV product, with mobile gaming margin revenues increasing 450 percent to GBP 900 000 for the first half of 2009, up substantially from GBP 200 000 over same period last year.

Interestingly, the statement also revealed that NetplayTV's recent backend live gambling deal with software provider Playtech plc (see previous InfoPowa report) had made it necessary to postpone the move of its SuperCasino live casino offshore; this will now only take place towards the end of the year.

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