September 05, 2008

Party set for white label expansion and poker relaunch

PartyGaming is set to offer its flagship poker product to other operators on a white label basis in the forthcoming months in an effort to counter the dominance of the poker sites still taking US bets. PartyGaming chief executive Jim Ryan said the company had put in place all the elements that would enable it to compete strongly with the sites taking US bets.

While praising the group for transforming “itself into a truly international business” as he commented on its interim results this morning, he added: “The US sites will continue to spend their marketing dollars in Europe and we know the competitive environment is set to become even more challenging. But what’s interesting is how we plan to defend ourselves. We are about to launch the next generation PartyPoker platform in the near future along with a rebrand. The brand will become much more meaningful to the customer through our marketing and there will be an enhanced effort to improve our contact with the VIP players on PartyPoker. We will have a team dedicated to the players who have become good at poker on our site and we want them to have an amazing experience with and not go to another site.” As for the white label strategy, Ryan said Party would work with “like-minded operators” to create a new poker network.

The company added that there had been no further developments regarding any possible settlements with the US Department of Justice with regard to its US activities pre-UIGEA.

PartyGaming’s net gaming revenue for the first six months of the year increased 17% to US$254.8m, from US$217.4m over the same period in 2007, the company announced today, while clean earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from continuing operations rose 76% to US$60.9m, from US$17.9m in 2007.

Party produced pre-tax profits from ongoing operations of US$30.3m compared with a US$32m loss last year and poker revenues rose 6% to US$ 153.9m, from US$144.6m in 2007 and poker EBITDA increased to US$36m, from US$22.8m last year.

Casino revenues were up 38% US$90m, compared with US$65m during the same period last year, thanks to higher player numbers and yields; bingo revenues rose to US$2m, from US$1.1m in 2007 and sports betting rose 36% to US$9m from US$6.6m in 2007.

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