Unibet Profits Plunge
By Staff
Malta-based online gambling operator Unibet Group has reported a 73 percent drop in net profits for the first quarter of the year to $4.37 million due to the weakening of the British pound.

The latest results come despite the company stating that it saw a 45 percent increase in gross revenues of $62.27 million due to the strong performance of its online gaming business with the number of active players declining slightly to 288,161.

Its negative results for the quarter were caused, Unibet stated, by a currency exchange loss of $11.14 million due to the retranslation of the bond used to finance the acquisition of Maria Holdings, which had a nominal value of $156 million. It said this negatively impacted its results due to the weakening of the British pound compared with the Euro.

“During the first quarter of 2008 we have seen healthy growth for the Group both in terms of gross winnings and profits from operations,” said Petter Nylander, Chief Executive Officer for Unibet.

“With marketing costs under control and the operational integration of Maria Holdings substantially completed according to plan together with our new site launched in all markets, we are now focused on achieving the financial targets for 2010.

“The polarised legal and market situation between the European Union and some Member States is likely to prevail short and mid-term but is not impacting Unibet’s view on achieving these targets.'

Gross revenues for the quarter from sportsbetting amounted to $20.89, a 19 percent improvement on the previous year, while casino, poker, games and bingo revenues totalled $41.58, an increase of 63 percent. Unibet stated that, of the total gross revenues, sportsbetting represented 34 percent while casino and poker accounted for 34 and 21 percent respectively.

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