Interactive gaming company NetPlay TV (LON:NPT) said the “pivotal” 2009 saw its transformation from a “small opportunistic gaming company” into a “fully fledged media business” after regulator Ofcom opened up a potentially huge market by allowing terrestrial broadcasters to air transactional gaming shows.
Following Ofcom’s decision NetPlay decided to exit its premium rate telephony business to focus on the UK terrestrial TV market for interactive gaming.
Total revenues for full year 2009 rose 10% to £21.6 million, while like for like revenues jumped 27% to £21 million. While the company posted an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of £0.85 million compared to last year’s £2.43 million profit, it returned to earnings in Q1 2010 with an EBITDA of £0.2 million.
Total gross bets for Q4 rose 25% quarter on quarter to £157 million and posted another increase in Q1 2010, climbing 6% to £166 million. Mobile gaming revenues continued growing with a 10% quarter on quarter increase in Q1 2010.
NetPlay called the development of its mobile betting solution it is now using for “Bingo Stars” a “major milestone” for the business.
“This fully integrated mobile, Internet and TV solution allows us the ability to deliver a fully regulated instant gratification gaming solution to the TV viewer. Trading on ITV is in its very early stages with the mobile application being launched in mid June. We believe the appeal of the mobile text gaming solution as an instant call to action will increase interaction considerably,” said Chief Executive of NetPlay TV Martin Higginson.
Apart from the return to positive EBITDA, post-period highlights included the completion of the offshore migration of SuperCasino.com in February, the revision of the deal with Virgin Media Television in March and partnership with ITV1, which was announced in April.
NetPlay TV now has airtime deals with major UK broadcasters including Sky and Virgin Media Television, plus the agreement with ITV1 and a five year partnership deal with Channel Five. The company has recently signed a deal with Playtech to partner with major media owners.
In order to prepare for ITV partnership, NetPlay invested £1.2 million in studio refurbishment, also allowing successful formats to be broadcast from one central location to international partners.
The report offered a positive outlook as NetPlay said it was now looking to capitalise on new initiatives such as Google TV, which is expected to go live this fall and which the company said would have a significant positive impact on its growth potential.
Shares in NetPlay rose 5% following the release of the report.