Online Casino Group Reports Drop in Shares
By staff
Vienna-listed online gambling group Bwin has announced its results for the third quarter, which showed a core profit and resurgent growth in players but also revealed a net loss that saw its stock drop by 15 percent.

According to the Reuters news agency, Bwin reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $22.3 million for the quarter after stripping off $8.8 million in share-based staff compensation, echoing a $7.6 million loss last year.

In addition, the company reported that gross gaming revenues were up 20 percent to $126.6 million after discontinued operations in the United States and Turkey were factored with sports betting revenues rising 15 percent to bring in a betting margin of 8.5 percent.

Continuing the good news, the company stated that its player base had expanded by nine percent over the quarter, a particularly welcome development after two quarters of declining customer numbers due to cuts in marketing spend. Reflecting this, marketing costs were up 14 percent on the previous period.

However, investors were scared by the company’s reported net loss for the quarter of $7.5 million, which was less than in the previous year's quarter but leaves it with a loss after nine months that could make the achievement of year-end market expectations difficult. Reuters stated that the average estimate for Bwin's full-year net profit was $21.9 million, which means that the company would have to post a net profit of $23 million in the fourth quarter to reach this.

Trading in the company’s stock went as low as $32.47 following the announcement, which made it one of the top losers on Austria's ATX index. These same shares had risen by 60 percent this year including 21 percent in November following favourable court decisions in Germany.

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