company, the world's biggest supplier of technology for online
gaming operators but now also a major gambling platform in its
own right, said it was taking a major hit from the halting of
sports events across the world.
Like hundreds of other listed firms, it laid out a series of
steps to reinforce company finances for the months ahead,
worried by the impact on the economy and household finances of
coronavirus shutdowns across the world.
The delays in rolling out major sporting events have extracted a
heavy toll on its B2B division, which is expected to book a loss
of 4 million euros per month to adjusted earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
Shares of the London-listed firm, which has had two-thirds of
their value wiped off this year, were down more than 8% as of
Playtech's poker and bingo businesses saw an increase in
activity in recent days due to restrictions on movement imposed
by governments. However, it added that there was a risk that
player behavior could change the longer the crisis continues.
On the bright side, the company said its trading platform and
payment services business has benefited from the rise in market
volatility and brought in core profit of over 30 million euros
($32.5 million) so far in 2020.
Playtech's Snaitech unit, Italy's biggest sports betting firm,
was already hurt by lockdown measures imposed in the country,
worst hit by the crisis in Europe, and the company said on
Thursday that had been worsened by the postponements of sports
Playtech suspended all shareholder returns, both dividends and
stock buybacks, to conserve cash amid uncertainty over the
global economic outlook.
"Even if the current level of disruption continues for a
prolonged period, the group has enough liquidity to last it well
into the second half of 2021," Goodbody gaming & leisure analyst
Gavin Kelleher, said in a note.
The company warned in January that 2020 results would be below
market expectations because of a major hit to its two largest
markets, Asia and Italy, from the coronavirus.
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy
Caren Daniel, Anil D'Silva and David Evans)
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