|UK online gambling group Party Gaming has released a trading update covering its underlying profits for 2007 stating that numbers would be slightly ahead of analysts' forecasts with January trading in line with expectations.|
Mitch Garber, Chief Executive Officer for Party Gaming, stated that revenues rose 52 percent to $120 million in the fourth quarter to December to give full-year revenues of $448.2 million, well over the $324.7 million achieved the previous year.
He reported that earnings before interest would be slightly ahead of current expectations, buoyed by lower than anticipated costs and customer bad debts. According to the average forecast of a Reuters Estimates poll of six banks, Party Gaming’s earnings are expected to be $104.5 million.
'We continue to build on the four pillars of our strategy, growing the player base, localising the customer offer and broadening the product base while acting responsibly,' said Garber.
'These results show that we have built a solid platform for growth and we remain confident about the group's future prospects.'
Party Gaming announced that average gross daily revenues for January rose by one percent from fourth quarter figures and that it is looking for new ways to boost revenue as it faces stiffer competition for poker players.
The firm is also trying to compensate for the loss of US-based gamblers following the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in late-2006, which banned financial transactions with online gambling companies and caused its withdraw from the American market.
Together with competing online gambling companies such as 888.com and Sportingbet, Party Gaming stated that it was in discussions with the US Department of Justice in a bid to avoid prosecution for accepting wagers from American players prior to UIGEA.