PartyGaming Posts First-Half Profit as Casino, Sports Betting Sales Rise

PartyGaming Plc, the Internet gambling company planning to acquire Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG, posted a first-half profit as casino games and sports betting sales rose.

Net income was 19.7 million euros ($26 million), compared with a loss of 46.5 million euros in the same period a year earlier, the Gibraltar-based company said in a Regulatory News Service statement today. Revenue rose 30 percent to 181.2 million euros.

Casino sales climbed 23 percent to 76.4 million euros. Sports betting revenue climbed 89 percent to 10.2 million euros as soccer World Cup wagering helped compensate for a drop in poker sales as players were distracted by the tournament.

“We have continued to consolidate our position as the world’s largest online casino,” Chief Executive Officer Jim Ryan told reporters on a conference call. The company added 80 games during 2009, and plans 50 more in 2010, he said.

PartyGaming and Bwin said last month they would combine to create the world’s biggest publicly traded online gambling company. The deal is expected to close early next year.

“It will widen the gap between the combined company and the rest of the market,” Ryan told reporters. “We will have the size, scale and management to continue our leadership.”

PartyGaming rose 2.9 pence, or 1 percent, to 291.3 pence at 8:59 a.m. in London. The shares have increased 12 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 1.2 billion pounds ($1.9 billion).

First-half bingo revenue soared to 25.8 million euros from 1.2 million euros a year earlier after the company acquired Cashcade Ltd. last year.

PartyGaming showed a loss a year ago as it took a $101 million charge against earnings to cover payments to the U.S. Justice Department to avoid prosecution for offering Web gambling in the country before it was barred in October 2006.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Altaner in London at daltaner@bloomberg.net

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