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Teufelberger talks up mobile focus with app integrations underway

9th April 2014 12:15 pm GMT

bwin.party chief executive Norbert Teufelberger has claimed that the company’s focus on mobile will allow it to quickly catch up on its competitors, with the operator looking to exploit cross-selling opportunities through its sportsbook and poker apps.

Speaking following publication of the operator’s first quarter results this morning, Teufelberger was keen to stress that the company’s drive to improve its mobile offering was progressing according to plan.

He revealed that the operator’s mobile casino offering would be integrated into its poker and sportsbook apps, allowing the company to attract existing players to the game.

The recently agreed strategic partnership with Williams Interactive will also boost the casino offering, alongside other games from the likes of IGT and Amaya, with around 40 mobile slots to be rolled out, Teufelberger added. Currently the casino app has around six games.

Of the partnership he said: “I think it vastly matters, because we are improving our suite on web, but are really behind on mobile offering which until recently had just 6 mobile games, while competitors have twenty or thirty.

“We’ll have 40 available by end of June and a really strong casino product on mobile which will help us catch up on competitors and bring the percentage of revenue generated by mobile up,” he explained.

The operator has moved to boost its mobile footprint in regulated European markets, launching customer-facing offerings in Belgium, Spain and Denmark as well as products for B2B partners.

The operator’s chief financial officer Martin Weigold also offered an update on progress in the regulated Italian and Spanish markets. He said that both markets had seen revenue rise quarter-on-quarter, although while Spain grew year-on-year, Italian earnings were down from the first quarter of 2013.

Weigold blamed this on the country’s poker market “going backwards” and a tough bingo market. However, he added that Italy was generating positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Teufelberger said that this would be “improved vastly” once the long-delayed migration to a single platform takes place later in the year.

Weigold also admitted that the company did not expect to see a big impact from the legalisation of slots in the Spanish market, with the timing of the launch currently unclear.

On the subject of US expansion, Teufelberger picked out California and New York, where legislation is being debated but admitted that there was huge potential for change.

“[These states are] hot right now, but this can change tomorrow,” he explained. “It’s really very fluid. We also have Pennsylvania but it is very difficult to call who will go first.”

Shares in bwin.party digital entertainment plc (Co. Data) (LSE:BPTY) are currently trading down 1.12 per cent at 123.60 pence per share in London today following the announcement this morning.

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