BUSINESS

PhilWeb has boffo Q1; online gamers merge; Philippine Poker Tour announced

TAGs: Philippine Poker Tour, Philippines, PhilWeb

philweb-philippine-poker-tourPhilippine gambling outfit PhilWeb Corp posted a healthy 40% rise in profits in Q1 2012, spurred by gains in its international operations. Revenues rose 25% to P343m ($8m), while net income came in at P243m ($5.7m). It’s not only a good start to the year; it’s the highest quarterly operating income in the company’s history. Last May, PhilWeb president Dennis Valdes predicted that the company’s international expansion plans would start paying off in the latter part of 2011. That promise is now bearing fruit. “Our Asia-Pacific business has started delivering revenues and profits. We started selling scratch cards in Cambodia, in addition to our scratch card business in Timor Leste and our sweepstakes cafe in Guam.”

PhilWeb chairman Roberto Ongpin says the company is now eyeing further expansion of its scratch card operations into Sri Lanka, Palau, Laos and Myanmar. “Those are countries that we have existing conversations with.” Just as Valdes did last year, Ongpin is making bold predictions for PhilWeb’s future. Business World quotes Ongpin as saying he believes the company “should at least double the net income from last year. We should be making at least P2b this year, but that is a personal target.” PhilWeb’s FY 2011 income came in at P914m, a 45% boost over 2010. Ongpin says the company is currently sitting on about P1b in cash, which he hopes to use to acquire “a few” smaller gaming operators.

IP E-Games Ventures Inc. and Level Up! Inc. (LUI) have completed the merger of their Philippine online game publishing operations. Under terms of the deal, E-Games transferred select game titles to LUI in exchange for an equity stake in LUI and a cash consideration. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports the deal creates the country’s biggest business of its type, with 37m+ registered users and 5m active monthly users.

The Philippine Poker Tour (PPT) will kick off May 18 at Manila’s Metro Card Club. The PPT is the baby of local poker player Jojo Allado, who has previously held events at Resorts World Manila. Allado is planning a 10-tournament schedule for its inaugural season, although the dates and locations of the other nine events are still TBA. Allado told Poker Portal Asia that the aim was to hit poker clubs across the Philippines from Luzon to Mindanao. Each of the tournament’s winners will compete in a Final Table of Champions at season’s end for a World Series of Poker main event prize package.

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