Mor Weizer: Playtech gaming revenue sends "strong message"

By Gareth Bracken
A 25% increase in gaming revenue for 2015 sends a "strong message" that Playtech's entry into the financial vertical was not to "compensate for a lack of growth", company CEO Mor Weizer has told Gambling Insider.

The provider today reported gaming division revenue of €570.1m for the year ended 31 December, up from €457m, part of an overall group revenue rise of 38% year-on-year, on a reported basis, to €630.1m.

On a constant currency basis, excluding acquisitions and adding back the impact of the UK PoC tax, revenue grew 16%.

Playtech launched its financial division with the acquisition of online CFD and binary options broker and trading platform provider TradeFX last May, with the firm now operating as Markets Limited.

"It was very important that following our acquisition of Markets Limited we showcased the strength of Playtech and sent a very clear and strong message that our gaming division, which is the vast majority of our business, continues to grow, and that our entry into the financial vertical was not to compensate for a lack of growth," said Weizer.

"I think this morning's numbers are evidence that our gaming division is doing very well, outperforming most if not all of our peers in the market."

Playtech's best performer within its gaming division was casino, which showed a 26% revenue upturn to €308.7m.

Weizer put this increase down to operators focusing their efforts on casino alongside the success of Playtech's omni-channel solution.

Services revenue rose 17%, sport was up 22%, land-based improved 79%, and bingo increased 17%, while poker fell 19%.

A total of 41% of Playtech's gaming division revenues now emanate from regulated markets, up from 36% in 2015.

"Given the transition the whole industry is going through, for shareholders and in terms of value it's very important that we send a very clear message that quality of earnings are important for us, and that we believe the future lies with regulated markets and regulated income and profit streams," said Weizer.

The firm's financial division produced revenue of €60m in 2015, with Weizer stating that Playtech has "more capacity and more resources to accommodate the changing regulations, which will put us in a better position compared to other online CFD brokers".

He added: "Medium- to long-term we definitely expect to be one of the largest online CFDs in the market."

Group adjusted EBITDA increased 22% to €251.9m, with adjusted net profit improving 8% to €205.9m.

Reported net profit dropped 3% to €135.8m.

Playtech's report also referenced "active discussions for a number of potential acquisitions in the gaming division", although Weizer was not able to comment on specific opportunities.

The company has been linked with a move for fellow provider OpenBet, but when asked which sort of firms Playtech might be interested in acquiring, Weizer replied: "We always look at diversifying our gaming portfolio and strengthening existing product lines within the business – I can't say more than that."

For the full exclusive interview with Mor Weizer, click here.

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