As group operations expand, additional airtime costs bite hard
UK interactive television gambling group NetPlayTV released its full year 2009 results this week, confirming earlier trading updates (see previous InfoPowa reports) that predicted revenues up but profits down.
The company’s revenues climbed 10 percent year-on-year to GBP 21.6 million, but the bottom line reflected a loss of GBP 850 000 which has to be viewed against a profit of GBP 2.43 million in the year previous.
Management attributed this unfortunate situation to NetPlayTV’s expansion into terrestrial television channels STV and Five, which resulted in an additional GBP 1.2 million in airtime costs, incurred in Q4/2009.
Playtech investor Directforce Trading’s GBP 12.8 million capital injection last August was used to upgrade studios suitable for interaction with major television networks in the more liberal gambling environment ushered in by the UK regulators, a move praised by NetPlay chairman Clive Jones this week.
The company’s mobile gambling operations are delivering a pleasing performance in the new financial year thus far, with gross bets placed via mobile at the Super Casino and Challenge Jackpot brands up 10 percent to GBP 3.3 million quarter over quarter.
The mobile betting partnership with Playtech has produced a new system which is being used for the company’s latest ITV1 bingo show Bingo Stars, says chief executive Martin Higginson.
"The development of the mobile betting solution we are now using for ‘Bingo Stars’ is a major milestone for the business,” he claims. “Trading on ITV is in its very early stages with the mobile application being launched in mid June. We believe the appeal of the mobile text gaming solution as an instant call to action will increase interaction considerably.”
NetPlay now has airtime deals with Sky and Virgin Media TV, complementing its 5 year agreement with the Five network and a six month trial arrangement with ITV1. Higginson also has high expectations for Google TV, scheduled to go live by the end of 2010, which he says will open up online gambling to millions more players.
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