Online casino games developer Playtech is perhaps best known for its range of popular slots. With the results published this week from the first half of 2017, their executives must be feeling as if they’d won a progressive jackpot themselves.
The company posted strong double-digit growth in their core business, with the London-listed firm topping over €420 million, a staggering 25% higher than the results for the same period the year before.
Adjusted earnings increased to €171 million, while net profit reached just under €90 million – increases of 19% and 84% on 2015 results respectively.
Its core casino games business was the main driver of growth, perhaps unsurprisingly, up 26% on the year to €235 million. In part, the company attributed the success to a strong showing in Asia, including across their grey and black market casino clients.
In regulated markets, the company also posted a 50% hike in performance, and while it’s arguably not ideal for the company to post such strong performance from tie-ups in illegal and legally questionable markets, the results factor into strong year-on-year performance nonetheless.
Playtech’s other main contributors were sports betting, which saw revenues grow by 100% thanks to the acquisition of BGT, while its bingo sector also drove growth of around 70% on the period. iPoker and services bucked the trend with slight declines in both, at -5% and -6% respectively.
Their financials business, now rebranded as TradeTech, saw a 44% growth, again largely as a result of acquisitions made in the last year.
Over the last twelve months, Playtech has engaged in something of a buying spree, acquiring a number of related companies in the broader gambling space. This has allowed the company to branch out from its core casino games development business to take exposure to other elements of the gambling sector.
The result has been the creation of a much more sizeable group, consolidating strong performers across bingo, sports betting, financials and other verticals.
Over 2016, the company spend €240 million on acquiring new businesses, which has no doubt been amongst the main factors of their impressive performance. However, Playtech are keen to stress that it’s not just a question of splashing the cash, and that they have in fact seen growth in their core markets of over 10% over the period.
The Playtech results have been warmly welcomed by industry analysts, some of whom had questioned the company’s strategy in pushing ahead to acquire so many businesses over the period.
While much of the growth has ostensibly stemmed from the more legally questionable elements of their business, it is nonetheless a clear vote of confidence in the company and their current approach.
The results come at a time of increasing consolidation within the gambling markets, as companies look to shore up their positions by acquiring other companies – both rivals, and in complementary sectors.
Shareholders have also felt the benefits of the growth, with an interim dividend announced at 10% above prior levels. It remains to be seen whether the chairman’s optimism for the second half of the year is justified, although on the current trajectory, it looks like 2017 will be a very strong year for Playtech.