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Playtech and Gamesys set for strong 2020 showings

Online gambling companies have largely benefited from lockdowns.

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Online gaming companies have found it easier to operate during the pandemic (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Online gaming companies have found it easier to operate during the pandemic (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Online gaming companies have found it easier to operate during the pandemic (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Gambling software developers Playtech and Gamesys have said they may have outperformed market expectations in 2020.

Playtech said it expects to beat a consensus of what analysts have predicted for its full-year results.

Its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) are expected to reach at least 300 million euros (£269 million).

Gamesys, meanwhile, said it expects revenue and adjusted Ebitda to be “at, or above, the upper end of current market expectations for the period”.

We are in a strong position to continue to deliver growth in the business and create value for our shareholdersLee Fenton, Gamesys

Online gaming companies have found it easier to operate during the pandemic than their bricks-and-mortar rivals, and have in many cases seemed to pick up more business from customers stuck at home.

But this is not what Gamesys boss Lee Fenton highlighted.

He put his company’s success in 2020 down to “a deep understanding of our player base”, an “excellent execution against our strategy”, and a “commitment to always putting players at the heart of everything that we do”.

Mr Fenton added: “During the year, we also delivered a maiden dividend and as we enter 2021, we are in a strong position to continue to deliver growth in the business and create value for our shareholders.”

Playtech said the first half of its year had seen a standout performance from Finalto, which lets customers bet on the stock market.

In the second half, its business to business unit and Italian betting subsidiary Snaitech drove performance.

But its expectation-busting performance is still likely to see adjusted Ebitda drop by around a fifth.

In 2019, the measure reached 383 million euros (£342 million).

Analysts at Jefferies said they “take real encouragement” from Playtech’s update, and shares rose 7.7%.

Shares in Gamesys rose 4.1%.

Analysts at Peel Hunt said Gamesys is not as threatened by potential new gambling rules in the UK.

“A £100 monthly ‘affordability’ threshold (if introduced) could materially reduce gambling company revenue. Gamesys, with lower-staking players, would be less impacted than others,” they said.

PA


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