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Amaya updates guidance ranges for 2016 as CFO retires

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Amaya
y Amaya updated its previously announced guidance ranges for the full year of 2016, quarter four highlights, and the retirement of Chief Financial Officer, Daniel Sebag.

Amaya has updated its full year 2016 guidance ranges, as previously announced in November 2016. As a reflection of management's view of current and future market conditions, including the assumptions used to determine the previously announced guidance, the company currently expects revenues at the high end of the previous range and between $1,153 and $1,158 million, as compared to the previous range of between $1,137 and $1,157 million, and as compared to approximately $1,072 million in 2015.

Adjusted EBITDA are predicted to be above the previous range and between $521 and $526 million, as compared to the previous range of between $500 and $510 million, and as compared to approximately $459 million in 2015.

Furthermore, the company anticipates adjusted net earnings above the previous range and between $364 and $374 million, as compared to the previous range of between $344 and $354 million, and as compared to approximately $291 million in 2015. Adjusted net earnings per diluted share are also expected to be above the previous range and between $1.87 and $1.92, as compared to the previous range of between $1.78 and $1.83, and as compared to $1.47 in 2015.

Chief Executive Officer, Rafi Ashkenazi, says: "We anticipate that 2016 will be a record year of revenues for Amaya. We also saw better than expected fourth quarter results from our casino offering, operational excellence program and a successful re-launch in Portugal, all while continuing to take an efficient and measured approach to marketing our product offerings.

"We built positive momentum in 2016 that accelerated throughout the year and which we believe was largely the result of the positive impact of our strategy to improve the poker ecosystem for recreational players and leverage our global competitive advantage in online poker to acquire new customers, cross-sell existing and new customers into our online casino and sportsbook offerings, and maximize the lifetime value of all of our customers.

"We expect to continue this momentum and execute on our strategy in 2017 despite anticipated further headwinds, including continued declines in the value of our customers' local currencies against the U.S. dollar, which has been significant over the past two years, and the previously announced potential cessation of our real-money online poker offering in Australia.

“We anticipate that certain operational initiatives, including the introduction of a new cross-vertical customer loyalty program, the potential expansion into new markets, our continued focus on achieving product parity in our online casino and sportsbook, and our operational excellence program, will help to both drive our business forward and mitigate these and future headwinds."

Amaya expects to announce the date and time for release of its full year 2016 financial results in early March.

Fourth quarter 2016 operational highlights included an 8% year-over-year increase of total combined Quarterly Real-Money Active Uniques (reaching in the region of 2.6 million). Approximately 2.5 million of such QAUs played online poker during the quarter, an increase of approximately 5% year-over-year, while Amaya's online casino offerings had approximately 648,000 QAUs, an increase of approximately 47% year-over-year. Amaya's emerging online sportsbook offerings had approximately 247,000 QAUs, an 88% increase year-over-year.

The highlights also detailed that Customer Registrations increased by 2.6 million during the quarter to approximately 108 million at the end of the year.

Daniel Sebag has given notice to Amaya that he will retire as Chief Financial Officer later this year, once a suitable successor is identified and appointed. He assures that he will assist Amaya in ensuring an orderly transition of his duties. The Board of Directors has appointed Spencer Stuart, a leading executive recruiting company, to conduct a global search for a new CFO.

Sebag joined as its first CFO of Amaya in 2007 and managed its finances and accounting as a start-up through its initial public offering and its renovation to a consumer technology company through the $4.9 billion Rational Group acquisition in August 2014.

Chairman of the Board, Divyesh Gadhia, comments: "Danny has been a passionate and dedicated steward of Amaya's growth into a global gaming leader and helping to position it for the future. On behalf of the company, I would like to thank him for his contributions over the years. We wish him all the best in his retirement."

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