Playtech warns shareholders on coronavirus impact following steady annual results

Playtech warns shareholders on coronavirus impact following steady annual results

Playtech PLC (LON:PTEC) shares are in red, as the firm issued a warning over its 2020 results.

The online gambling firm said that the coronavirus could bruise results for 2020, as profits also fell in 2019. Playtech also released their final results for 2019.

Revenues across the yearly period totaled €1.51 billion, seeing a 22% increase year on year against a constant currency basis.

Playtech noted that their profit levels were affected by the impairment of intangible assets of the Markets and Alpha cash generating units, amounting to €90.1 million.

Looking at current trading, the firm said that B2B gambling revenue was up 5% on a year ago from the first few weeks of 2020.

However, its business in Italy initially started strong, but the firm warned that this could be affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The firm said “However, in the last two weeks it has started to see a material impact from changes in normal customer patterns due to COVID-19 which is significantly affecting two of its largest markets. Accordingly, results for 2020 are likely to be below existing market expectations”.

Alan Jackson, Chairman of Playtech, commented:

“2019 was another important year in the development of Playtech. Management has continued to focus on delivering a transformation of the business which started in 2017, designed to secure long term growth and unlock shareholder value.

Our Core B2B Gambling business reported strong growth in 2019. In addition we made further strategic progress by entering newly regulated markets, signing new customers, expanding existing relationships and continuing to innovate with new product launches. Together these are laying the foundations for our future growth. In our B2C Gambling business, Snaitech had a fantastic 2019 and continues to gain market share and reached the number one market share position for online betting and gaming in Italy in H2 2019.

The strength of our diversified business model, focus on cash flows and strong balance sheet has allowed Playtech to announce today further shareholder returns with a new €40 million share buyback programme alongside our final dividend.

Playtech has taken steps to improve its Corporate Governance with two new non-executive directors appointed in 2019 and I will in due course be announcing my successor as Chairman who will lead the Board during the next phase of Playtech’s exciting future.”

Shares in Playtech trade at 284p (-7.33%). 27/2/20 13:15BST.