Bwin.party profits down 17%
Online gaming group hit by tax in core German market
Online gaming group increases dividend by 10 per cent. Photograph: Erik De Castro/Reuters
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment posted a 17 per cent fall in 2012 profit, as it was hit by a new gaming tax in its core German market, and said 2013 revenue would be dented as it shifts its focus to regulated markets.
The world's largest listed online gaming group reported 2010 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of €164.9 million, down from €199.3 million a year earlier.
The company was expected to report an average 2012 EBITDA of €157.76 million, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
The introduction of a 5 per cent turnover tax on sports betting in Germany which came into effect last July hit revenues, which fell 2 per cent to €801.6 million, after the amount wagered on sports betting was hit by Bwin.party removing short-odds bets.
Year-on-year sports betting and casino revenues were largely flat. However, revenue declined in poker and bingo, hit by continued pressure on consumer spending, particularly in parts of southern Europe.
The company, formed by the 2011 merger of PartyGaming and Bwin Interactive Entertainment, said current trading had been impacted by its shift of focus to nationally regulated markets.
It added that it now expects 2013 revenue to be slightly lower than current market estimates, but that the impact on profits would be offset by cost savings.
Bwin.party increased the total dividend by 10 per cent to 3.44 pence per share.
Shares in Bwin.party, which have risen a third in the last three months, closed at 151.5 pence yesterday on the London Stock Exchange, valuing the group at around 1.2 billion pounds.