Playtech Expects to Benefit From Paddy Power and Betfair Merger

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Playtech Plc expects to win more business from customers Paddy Power Plc and Betfair Group Plc as a result of their planned merger, the gambling software provider’s chief executive officer said Thursday.

Mor Weizer said in an interview that his company -- founded by Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi -- is also in talks to do more deals of its own, following its agreed 459.6 million-pound ($712 million) acquisition of online trading platform Plus500.

Commenting on the Paddy Power-Betfair combination, which will create the biggest publicly-listed online gaming company, Weizer said the new entity would have “more firepower to invest” and provided an “opportunity to extend Playtech’s relationship” as a technology partner. Playtech counts Paddy Power and Betfair among its 10 biggest customers.

Weizer’s comments came as Playtech reported a 19 percent increase in first-half adjusted net profit to 115 million euros on the back of growth in its casino division and sales from its newly acquired financial trading platforms.

Revenue rose 33 percent to 286 million euros, beating the average analyst forecast of 284 million euros, the Douglas, Isle of Man-based company said in a statement. However, average daily revenues from its gaming division are down 2 percent in the current quarter when compared to the previous three months. The shares fell 1.8 percent to 875 pence as of 10:06 a.m. in London.

Playtech, which also provides online gaming software to companies such as Ladbrokes Plc, has been diversifying by acquiring financial trading businesses and is expected to complete the Plus500 deal by Sept. 30. Earlier this year it bought a majority stake in TradeFX Ltd., another online trading platform, which then agreed to buy AvaTrade for 68 million pounds in July.

More Deals

“We definitely have a pipeline of companies,” Weizer said. “With some, we are in discussion as we speak. Obviously we can’t refer by name to specific acquisitions, but definitely there is a list and we see M&A as being a very important element of our strategy.”

Revenue from the company’s new financials division contributed 10.6 million euros to total sales, while casino revenue increased 28 percent to 148.9 million euros.

Adjusted earnings per share rose 19 percent to 39.6 cents. The interim dividend increased 8 percent to 9.6 cents per share.

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