NetPlay Buoyed Following 49% Interactive Revenue Growth

30th September 2009 8:50 am GMT

In what has so far been a landmark year for the company, during which it has transformed into a fully fledged interactive media business, NetPlay TV plc said Wednesday that total revenues for the six month period ended June 30th fell by 7% to £9.3 million, due to poor returns from the divested premium rate telephony business Abstract Games, despite strong growth from interactive gaming.

Revenues from interactive gaming however climbed an impressive 49% to £8.5 million, with total gross bets exceeding £204 million during the period, up 31% year-on-year.

The company's SuperCasino.com business contributed revenues of £0.9 million, up from £0.2 million last year, while the Challenge Jackpot gaming brand showed positive signs of growth despite higher integration costs than anticipated. NetPlay TV's Bingos.com brand saw a decline in net gaming margin, in line with expectations, pending the integration and launch of new TV bingo game formats.

Administrative expenses increased by 71% to £4.1 million following heavy investment in staff and technology to take advantage of the company's partnerships with tier 1 media channels such as STV and Five, while cost of sales also rose marginally to £7.1 million.

Including a £0.9 million write off relating to the Abstract Games divestment, as well as restructuring costs of £0.4 million, NetPlay TV reported a loss for the half year period of £3.3 million, versus a loss of £0.1 million in the corresponding period last year.

"In the first part of 2009 the Ofcom rule changes allowed us to exploit our dominant position in the interactive gaming market across UK terrestrial TV," said Martin Higginson, CEO of NetPlay TV.

"In raising £13m of new funds we have been able to not only sign long term contracts with major broadcasters but also enter into a period of significant investment allowing us to transform the business into a global media player of scale and create additional shareholder value.

"We have successfully delivered a truly converged interactive gaming solution and we are uniquely positioned in terms of TV distribution. This will allow us to build a solid and sustainable media business as we move forward. I am extremely pleased with the progress the business has made so far and I look forward to the coming years with great confidence."

NetPlay TV said that during Q4 it will move elements of its TV production, operations and databases offshore and onto the Playtech software, achieving savings on UK betting duty in excess of £100,000 per month, as well providing the company with a range of new internet and mobile games.

The company said it will also explore incorporating the Bingos.com and EuroTeleMillions.com businesses into the Challenge Jackpot brand, providing those customers with an even wider offering, with bigger jackpots and a larger player community.

Trading during the third quarter of 2009 has so far progressed well, with gross bets from the company's core gaming business reaching £130 million ahead of the addition of two terrestrial TV channels, STV and Channel Five later this month. The SuperCasino.com business delivered a net gaming margin for August in excess of £0.75 million, the highest recorded margin to date.

Shares in NetPlay TV plc (Co. Profile) (AIM:NPT) have gained 2.56% to 30.00 pence per share in London this morning following the announcement.

Pragmatic Play