32Red PLC off to flying start to 2016

Earnings were knocked by the point of consumption tax but the top line raced ahead

The debt-free company hiked the divi by 17%

Online casino games operator 32RED PLC (LON:TTR) had a record-breaking year in 2015, and is off to a flyer in 2016.

Total net gaming revenues at the core 32RED business rose 35% to £41.7mln from £31.0mln, while 32RED Italy chipped in with £1.7mln of revenues, up 54% from £1.1mln the year before.

Add in £5.2mln of revenues from Roxy Palace, acquired in July 2015, and Total net gaming revenues were up 52% to a record £48.7mln from £32.1mln in 2014.

The introduction of the point of consumption tax (POCT), however, put a crimp on underlying earnings (EBITDA), which fell to £6.2mln from £5.4mln after taking into account a doubled investment of £1.2mln into Italy.

The group paid £4.8mln in POCT during 2015, up from £0.4mln in the previous year.

Adjusted earnings per share dipped 2% to 6.97p from 7.08p the year before, but that did not stop the board from recommending a 17% hike in the full-year dividend to 2.8p from 2.4p, in addition to the special dividend of 3p a share announced on 10 February.

Cash at the end of 2015 stood at £10.3mln, up from £7.0mln a year earlier.

The company said it had made a strong start to 2016 with like-for-like net gaming revenues for the first nine weeks of the year up 35% on the same period in 2015 and up 66% including the contribution from Roxy Palace.

Chief executive officer Ed Ware said the company had notched up a record-breaking year despite significant regulatory and tax head winds.

“These results are an excellent demonstration of 32RED's core strengths - a talented and dedicated team, first class ROI-driven marketing skills and established, highly appealing online gaming brands,” Ware said.

“The acquisition of the Roxy Palace business in July complements the strong organic growth delivered in the core business as we exploited targeted marketing opportunities and attracted new customers to the 32RED brand.  Marketing expenditure will be increased again in 2016 we are well positioned for another year of progress, building on the excellent achievements in 2015," he added.

The shares rose 3.8% to 163p in the first half-hour of trading.

Quick facts: 32RED

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Market: AIM
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