August 21, 2008

Euro2008 plays key role in Bwin H1 figures

Half-yearly gross gaming revenues for European gaming and betting operator Bwin jumped 25.6% to €207.2m, compared with €165m during the same period last year, the company’s results showed this morning.

Gross sports betting revenues were up a record 37% to €119.8m on the €87.5m achieved in the first six months of 2007 and margins came in at 8.3%. Earnings before interest, debt and amortisation (EBITDA) increased €2m to €36.5m from €34.5m in 2007. The number of active customers on Bwin rose 31% to 1.4 million, new active real-money customers were up 45.6% to 550,000 for the period.

Bwin said its turnover target for Euro 2008 had been achieved during the second quarter and its newly-designed gaming portal had launched successfully. Quarterly gross gaming revenues were up 35.8% to €102.7m on last year’s €75.6m, with sports betting revenues rising 58% to €59.3m compared with €374.m during the second quarter of 2007 and sports betting margins coming in at 7.9%.

Net gaming revenues (NGR) were up 32.7% to €88m, with sports betting contributing €50.4m of the amount, from €66.3m over the same period last year. Poker NGR dropped 5.4% on last year’s figure to €18m while casino rose 13.7% on last year to €15m and games were up 56.3% to €4.6m. EBITDA for the quarter was €10.6m, compared with €9.9m in 2007. After tax results showed a loss of €6.7m, compared with a loss €5.6m in 2007.

Quarterly gross gaming revenues from Bwin’s poker rose €600,000 to €20.9m on €20.3m achieved last year , casino came in at €17.4m on last year’s €14.6m and gaming rose to € 5.1m compared with €3.3m achieved during the second quarter of last year.

Euro 2008 and live betting played a major part in sports betting turnover rising 44% during the second quarter to €750m. Bwin generated €221m in sports betting revenues during the event, with margins of 8.3 %. This meant daily sports betting revenues were higher (€800,000) during Euro 2008 than during the World Cup 2006 (€568,000), when Bwin’s margins were 6.7%.

For the whole of the second quarter though, a large number of results going in favour of punters meant that margins for the period only rose to 7.9%, compared with 7.2% in 2007.

Marketing expenses rose to €37.6m, compared with €25.6m in 2007, due mainly to Euro 2008 and represented 36.6% of gross gaming revenues. Bwin said that and despite the football championships, marketing costs (including bonuses) per new active customer (CPA) declined12.2% to €166.3 during this year’s second quarter, compared to €189.4 in the same period last year.

Bwin added that a “high-quality customer base” had enabled it to report “a fall of only 5.9% in gross gaming revenues per active customer compared to the same period the previous year to €93.8, compared with €99.7 in 2007. The ‘b’inside’ customer loyalty programme launched in October 2007 proved increasingly popular with customers”.

Other quarterly revenues totalled €16.7m compared with €9m last year and included revenues from the sale of rights to the first and second German Soccer Leagues (€7.9m), compared with €5m last year and fees charged to customers, €2.5m on last year’s €1.7m.

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