Although online gaming company bwin Interactive Entertainment AG won't release its final full-year results until next month, the company's preliminary fourth quarter and annual 2007 release validated the company's continued focus on its core business.
In the fourth quarter of 2007, bwin increased both its gross and net gaming revenues above the levels they had achieved before exiting the US market in late 2006 and the Turkish market in early 2007. Sports betting still represents a little more than 50% of bwin's business, and the company's strong fourth quarter performance was driven, in part, by an 18.8% increase in sports betting net revenues. Poker was also a strong performer for bwin in the fourth quarter, posting a 16.6% increase in net gaming revenues. Sports betting was also the key performer year-over-year, showing a 22.4% increase in net revenues over 2006. The loss of the US and Turkish market was more apparent in poker-related net revenues for the year, which were down 22.2%.
Results, excluding discontinued US and Turkish operations, highlighted bwin's ability to grow their business regionally post-UIGEA. Net gaming revenues were up 25.9% overall in 2007, with sports betting posting a 23.4% increase and poker growing by 49.7%.
Bwin was pleased with their results, stating, "Compared to its most important competitors, which report in USD or GBP, in 2007 bwin reported the strongest organic growth of net gaming revenues in a euro-based comparison. It also confirms the correctness of the Company's strategy of investing in proprietary poker and sports betting platforms to safeguard future earning potential, and of cautious regional diversification."
Bwin expects to post another record quarter in the first quarter of 2008. In their first 75 days of operation this year, bwin's average daily gross gaming revenues showed an increase of 4.7% over the fourth quarter of 2007.
Bwin's detailed results will be posted on April 17th and are expected to confirm their preliminary performance release. Also expected is some discussion relative to the potential financial ramifications for bwin in light of the recent decision by the German Federal Court of Justice affecting bwin's operations there.