Online gambling software outfit Playtech had a stellar 2014 as revenue surged 24% to a record €457m and earnings rose 30% to €207.1m.
Playtech said the good times have continued into 2015, with daily average revenue over the first eight weeks up 22% year-on-year and up 5% from Q4 2014. Playtech shares rose over 5% on Thursday to close at 777p.
Playtech’s flagship casino product rose 29% to €244.2m, while its PTTS services division grew 20% to €132.8m. Sports betting provided the biggest annual gain, rising 54% to €26.3m on the strength of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Land-based operations rose 35% to €16.6m thanks to the acquisition of Aristocrat Lotteries as well as a fledgling retail sport offering. Bingo and poker were the net decliners, falling to €17.5m (-5%) and €13.8m (-6%) respectively.
Mobile revenue was up 64% in 2014. Mobile casino revenue grew 84%, accounting for 10% of casino revenue, up from 7% in 2013. Mobile sports wagering grew 51% to €22.2m, while mobile bingo was up 21%. The poker vertical’s first full year of mobile access generated revenue of just €200k.
Playtech continues to push its omni-channel strategy of fusing web, mobile and retail products into a unified whole, which the company believes will eventually become the industry standard. Playtech debuted this single log-in system at Coral betting shops in 2014.
Playtech continues to hint that it’s preparing for a major acquisition, although details remain as scant as ever. The company’s cash balance came to €692m as of Dec. 31, providing it with serious latitude in considering what assets to snap up.
PHILIPPINE-LICENSED OPERATOR REVENUES MORE THAN DOUBLE
CEO Mor Weizer says the focus is on growing Playtech’s presence in “regulated and soon-to-be regulated markets.” The short-term focus is on southern and eastern Europe, but Weizer told eGaming Review that Playtech had “already started establishing ourselves” in Africa, as “some of these operators are quite significant in size.”
Customers licensed in the Philippines accounted for €134m of Playtech’s revenue, representing 29% of the total pie. The revenue figure is a 240% increase from 2013, when Philippine-licensed operators accounted for just 15% of overall revenue. By comparison, Gibraltar-licensed operators accounted for €103m, up 16%, while Antiguan operators’ share fell 27% to €63m.
Playtech notes that an operator’s licensing jurisdiction “does not reflect the end users of the Group’s licensees.” Playtech has previously admitted to earning over one-third of its revenue from Asian markets, most of which are far more black than grey. Playtech says its regulated market business grew 25% in 2014 compared to 18% for its dot-com operations, but Playtech says dot-com operators “remain an important part of the Group’s future progress.”