('Playtech' or the 'Company')
Online growth with continued strategic and operational progress
Finalto sale agreed
Playtech plc ("Playtech") is pleased to report on trading for the period from 1 January to 30 April 2021 and to announce the sale of its financial trading business, Finalto.
Playtech has continued to make progress against its strategic and operational objectives in 2021, including in its key target growth markets of the US, Latin America and Europe. This progress includes strategic agreements with the Greenwood companies in the US and Holland Casino in Europe, as well as the continued strong performance from Caliente and others in Latin America.
At the start of 2021, the Company's expectations assumed retail lockdowns in its major markets, including Italy and the UK, would last throughout most of Q1. While retail in the UK has reopened, closures in Italy have continued longer than expected and are currently anticipated to continue to at least the end of H1.
Online growth has remained very strong in 2021 in both B2B and Snaitech. This strength in B2B has led to Playtech as at the end of April, being ahead of its Adjusted EBITDA expectations at the start of the year (excluding Finalto). This outperformance for the first four months provides comfort for the H1 outlook despite the loss of retail revenues in Italy that will impact Q2.
Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose challenges and the macroeconomic outlook remains uncertain, given the strong start to the year the Board is confident of the Company's prospects for the remainder of 2021, while mindful of the possibility for further unexpected lockdowns.
Playtech's online businesses performed very well throughout the first four months of 2021. The retail focused parts of the business were impacted by closures for most of the period in its major markets, particularly the UK and Greece.
The Company continued to make good progress in the US, as it signed a strategic multi-state, multi-product deal with the Greenwood companies and subsequently launched in Michigan with further launches planned later in 2021 and 2022. The Company also announced plans to build a Live Casino facility in Michigan and expects to have facilities operational in Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania later in 2021.
The Company also extended its market leading presence in Latin America. Caliente continues to demonstrate very strong growth, building on its leadership position in Mexico, with WPlay in Colombia building momentum. The Company's other structured agreements in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama are progressing well and are expected to become significant contributors to revenues over the coming years.
Playtech continued to extend its reach with existing customers by launching new products and expanding in additional territories. Playtech also continued to see significant demand for its SaaS offering with continued launches and new customer signings.
At the start of 2021, the Company expected that Snaitech's retail stores in Italy would start to open towards the end of Q1, however, the closures are now expected to continue to at least the end of H1.
Snaitech's online business has continued the very strong performance it delivered in 2020 into 2021.
Through the first four months of 2021, Playtech's business in Asia has been stable, in line with the levels achieved through H2 2020.
Sale of Finalto
In line with the Company's strategy to focus on its Core B2B and B2C Gambling businesses, Playtech has today announced it has entered into an agreement for the sale of its non-core financial trading division, Finalto.
The consideration for Finalto is up to US$210 million comprising cash of US$185 million (of which US$15 million is deferred for up to two years) and US$25 million contingent on certain cash flow or other criteria being met. The transaction is expected to complete in Q4 2021 and on completion will increase Playtech's unrestricted cash by approximately US$200 million (the US$170 million proceeds payable on completion plus a further pro forma US$30 million Playtech will no longer need to hold as Restricted Cash) with up to an additional deferred US$40 million of cash proceeds to follow (of which US$15 million is not subject to conditions).
For further details, please see separate announcement released today.
As previously announced, the Company has appointed Brian Mattingley as Chairman designate. Brian will take over from Claire Milne, who has served as interim Chairman, on 1 June 2021.
As previously announced, Playtech took the decision to migrate its tax residency to the UK, and this has now become effective.
Claire Milne, outgoing Interim Chairman, commented
"I'm honoured to have acted as Playtech's Interim Chairman over the past year and I look forward to working with Brian Mattingley, who takes up his position as our new Chairman next week, as well as with the rest of the Board to continue to drive Playtech's strategy and capitalise on the significant opportunities ahead."
Mor Weizer, CEO, commented
"I would like to thank Claire for acting as Interim Chairman over the past year. Claire has provided the continuity and stability needed during these unprecedented times and we are extremely grateful for her counsel and support.
I am delighted by the strong performance Playtech has delivered so far in 2021, despite the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic. The sale of Finalto delivers on our strategy to simplify the Company. Our technology and product offering is unrivalled and we have a clear growth strategy to expand the geographic reach of our Core B2B business.
We have continued to make significant progress in the US, Latin America, and Europe, our key growth markets. During the period, we have signed a strategic multi-state, multi-product deal with the Greenwood companies in the US. In Latin America, we saw very strong growth at Caliente in Mexico, built momentum with WPlay in Colombia and progressed our other structured agreements in Guatemala, Panama and Costa Rica. In Europe we signed a major new software and services agreement with Holland Casino. We see significant opportunities for further strategic partnerships in the US, Latin America and elsewhere providing our proven leading B2B software and services.
Snaitech's online business in Italy continues to go from strength to strength. Online remains an underpenetrated market in Italy, and Snaitech is ideally positioned to benefit as a result of its brand strength and leading technology. The pandemic has significantly accelerated Snaitech's transition to the higher-margin online business and we expect the strong growth to continue.
We believe that due to the hard work and dedication of our employees, Playtech will exit the pandemic stronger than ever. Looking ahead, we are confident that the simplified Group and the exciting growth opportunities ahead will deliver significant value to shareholders."
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For further information please contact:
Chris McGinnis, Director of Investor Relations & Strategic Analysis
James Newman, Director of Corporate Affairs
+44 (0) 1624 645 954
Headland (PR adviser to Playtech)
Lucy Legh, Stephen Malthouse
+44 (0) 20 3805 4822
Founded in 1999 and premium listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, Playtech is a market leader in the gambling and financial trading industries with c.6,400 employees across 24 countries.
Playtech is the gambling industry's leading technology company delivering business intelligence driven gambling software, services, content and platform technology across the industry's most popular product verticals, including, casino, live casino, sports betting, virtual sports, bingo and poker. It is the pioneer of omni-channel gambling technology through its integrated platform technology, Playtech ONE. Playtech ONE delivers data driven marketing expertise, single wallet functionality, CRM and responsible gambling solutions across one single platform across product verticals and across retail and online.
Playtech partners with and invests in the leading brands in regulated and newly regulated markets to deliver its data driven gambling technology across the retail and online value chain. Playtech provides its technology on a B2B basis to the industry's leading retail and online operators, land-based casino groups and government sponsored entities such as lotteries. Playtech directly owns and operates Snaitech, the leading sports betting and gaming company in online and retail in Italy,
Playtech's Financials Division, Finalto, is a technology leader in the CFD and financial trading industry and operates both on a B2B and B2C basis.