Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment released the financial figures from the first half of 2012 last month. The results showed a successful start to the financial year for Bwin, with revenue growing to €410 million. This is a 3% increase compared to the same period in 2011, when revenue stood at €398 million. The significant boost comes despite the online poker products underperforming.
The organisation’s poker websites decreased in value, with total net revenue from the market falling from €104.9 million last year to €96.5 million this year. The bingo sites operated by Bwin also experienced a drop in revenue. The figures fell from €33 million in the first half of 2011 to just €31.5 million in the same time period of this year. However, there was a growth in net profit from €81.9 million to €92.3 million boosted by a rise in revenue in the sports betting and casino arms of the organisation. Sports betting and casino revenue grew from €125.7 million in 2011 to €128.1 million this year and €124.3 million last year to €139.7 million this year respectively.
The entertainment company also made the challenging decision to enter the newly regulated Spanish market recently, receiving the appropriate license from the Spanish Gaming Commission. This may have had some effect on the financial figures, as Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment were forced to make a one off payment of €31.5 million for backdated taxes to the Spanish government. In a statement the company said: “The Spanish tax authority contacted all of the major online gaming operators and made clear that, in their opinion, any online operators that has ever accepted customers from Spain has an obligation to pay taxes under two laws, one dating back from 1966 and the other from 1977.”
Despite the success of some of the products that are currently operating in Spain, such as the bingo site Binguez which is estimated to be worth approximately $12,358 in its early form by Stuffgate.com, Bwin.Party have admitted that they are finding the Spanish market a struggle. Martin Weigold, the Chief Financial Officer of Bwin stated that the group are finding the market challenging due to the severe recession which has hit the region.
The Co-Chief Executives of Bwin, Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger, stated that they hope to see a better performance by the company in the rest of the year, with poker products being the centre of attention. In a joint statement, they said: “Poker is a key area of focus and we are determined to return it to growth through execution of a detailed plan that includes pooling our poker liquidity as well as repositioning our flagship PartyPoker brand. They added: “We expect both initiatives to have a positive impact on our performance.”
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