BUSINESS

WMS revenue falls but interactive shines; SG Gaming CEO exits down under

TAGs: Scientific Games, sg gaming, wms industries

wms-industries-sg-gamingGaming device maker and online gaming operator WMS Industries generated net income of $4.3m on revenue of $157.5m in its fiscal second quarter ending Dec. 31. The revenue tally is down 2.9% from the $162.2m recorded in the same period a year ago, but the net income is barely a quarter of the previous year’s $16.1m. The dropoff is in part due to nearly $9m in additional expenses, some of it relating to R&D and online marketing to support the company’s new interactive products, but the company maintains that the online division is now coming into its own.

WMS chairman/CEO Brian Gamache said the company’s social gaming app Jackpot Party is now the fourth most popular social casino game on Facebook and the recently released iPhone version is one of the top-10 highest-grossing iOS casino apps. Gamache said Jackpot Party is averaging $100k per day in revenue and helped the interactive division post year-over-year revenue growth of nearly $12m. Overall gaming operations revenue rose $8m to $72.7, while product sales revenue fell 15% to $84.8m.

WMS was acquired last week by Scientific Games (SGMS) for $1.42b, a deal that has yet to be approved by WMS shareholders, and there are already attempts to lob a spanner into the works. Attorneys at the Pomerantz Firm waited all of one day before announcing they’d be investigating the deal on behalf of WMS investors to see whether the WMS board failed to “adequately shop the company and maximize shareholder value.” Scientific Games’ offer represented a healthy premium over WMS’ current share price, but we guess lawyers gotta lawyer.

In October, SGMS created a new offshoot dubbed SG Gaming, under which it grouped its non-lottery divisions that supply amusement-with-prizes machines and fixed-odds betting terminals to UK pubs and bet shops. Ian Timmis, who was named CEO of SG Gaming, has announced he will step down March 31 to return to his native Australia for personal reasons. Timmis, a 20-year industry vet who previously worked for Aristocrat in Australia, had been with SGMS for three years and SG Gaming exec chairman Steve Frater thanked Timmis for his leadership and wished him all the best. Phil Horne will now handle the newly created brief of group managing director, UK.

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