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Playtech reports 22 percent jump in earnings

Online gaming firm positive for 2012 outlook after acquisitions

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Online gaming firm Playtech reported a 22 percent jump in earnings and forecast a good 2012 following a series of acquisitions.

The Estonia-based company, which is the world's biggest provider of online gaming software, reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for 2011 of £104.5 million compared with £86 million in 2010.

"Playtech has continued to focus on regulated markets with organic development and targeted acquisitions that will ensure it can take best advantage of the opportunities created by the structural changes underway across the worldwide gaming industry," chairman Roger Withers said in a statement on Thursday.

"In view of the company's board changes and progress in the last year, Playtech looks forward to an exciting year ahead with potential new joint venture partnerships, new licensee prospects and a commitment to joining the main market."

The company, which operates a joint venture with bookmakers William Hill, said the year had started well, with like-for-like growth in daily average revenues for the first nine weeks of 2012 up over 23 percent compared with the same period last year.

Playtech said technology acquisitions since January 2011 - Intelligent Gaming, Mobenga, Ash Gaming, Geneity and PTTS - were performing well. The firm raised £100 million through a share placing announced in November to fund new acquisitions.

Total revenue for 2011 increased 46 percent to £173 million, compared with £118.5 million in 2010. The company ended the year with £114.5 million cash following its fundraising towards the end of the year.

Playtech is proposing a combined interim and final dividend of 16.5 cents per share.

Playtech said in January that it saw opportunities to expand globally as gambling laws relax worldwide.

The company said it was in talks with possible U.S. partners after the Justice Department said that only online betting on sporting contests was unlawful, making a re-opening of the country's online gambling market possible.

The firm recently announced joint ventures with German gaming machine business Merkur and South African gaming and hospitality business Peermont.



Playtech reports 22 percent jump in earnings
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