Bwin's profits up for quarter 3

Profit soars 75 percent over same time last year

The Vienna-listed online gambling group Bwin has posted an outstanding set of third quarter 2009 results, with profit rocketing 75 percent over the same period last year.

Despite the traditionally quiet nature of the quarter, Q3 EBITDA rose to Euro 16.8 (Q3 2008: Euro 9.6 million) thanks to solid sportsbetting results. Gross gaming revenues rose 5.3 percent to Euro 101 million, due mainly to a 3.4 percent increase in sports betting gross revenues to Euro 52.7 million.

Online poker revenues were sluggish, rising only 1.3 percent to Euro 23.1 million, overshadowed by online casino performance that saw revenues rise 7 percent to Euro 18.1 million. The group’s smaller games division outshone them all with a 36.5 percent surge to Euro 7 million.

At Euro 83.3 million (Q3 2008: Euro 83.7 million) there was little change in net gaming revenue over the quarter, principally due to the cost of new acquisition and retention measures involved in the launch of subsidiary Ongame's new P5 poker platform and higher betting duties following the encouraging growth of online gaming in Italy.

Betting turnover from betting, poker, casino and games in the third quarter was up 8.2 percent to Euro 790.9 million (Q3 2008: Euro 730.8 million) This was achieved through an 8.3 percent rise in sports betting turnover to Euro 742.6 million (Q3 2008: Euro 685.9 million).

Active customers grew 18.7 percent to 1.1 million, from 892 000, with new active customer numbers growing 39.1 percent to 258 000, from 185 000.

Management reported that the growing popularity of live betting has resulted in a shift in the proportion of turnover away from traditional sports betting to live betting, with live betting’s share of the gross gaming revenues from sports betting increasing to 57 percent for the last quarter, from 55 percent in the third quarter of 2008.

Bwin is optimistic on the Italian market, in which it achieved strong positioning through the recent acquisition of Gioco Digitale, a major Italian online gambling group. The Bwin statement speaks of the 'booming' Italian market in glowing terms, noting that the regulatory regime is "modern and proactive."

Fourth quarter trading is off to a good start, Management reports, with gross gaming revenues during the first six weeks, excluding Gioco Digitale, of Euro 1.45 million, or almost a third better than the Euro 1.1 million previously recorded. Including Gioco Digitale, this figure rose to Euro 1.63 million, 48 percent above the figure achieved at this point in the last quarter.

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