Playtech to pay special dividend as profits rise

Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:46am EST

LONDON Feb 20 (Reuters) - Gaming software developer Playtech said it would pay shareholders a special dividend of 100 million pounds ($167 million) as it posted a rise in full-year profit for 2013.

Playtech, which develops software for betting firms such as Paddy Power and Betfair, said on Thursday 2013 adjusted core earnings grew 17 percent to 159.4 million euros excluding the share of profits received from William Hill Online after it sold its stake in the venture last March.

Revenue grew 16 percent to 367.2 million euros, boosted by new business wins and the acquisition of poker community PokerStrategy in July.

Due to the 424 million pounds ($709 million) sale of its 29 percent stake in William Hill online, the firm said it would pay a special dividend of 100 million pounds on top of a total 2013 ordinary dividend of 23.2 cents per share, in line with 2012.

"Playtech has further strengthened its position as the world's leading supplier of technology and services for the online gambling industry and the board looks to the future with confidence and optimism," Chairman Alan Jackson said.

Playtech has said it is on the hunt for acquisitions to help strengthen its business and take advantage of more people betting on bingo and sport on their mobile phones and tablets.

The firm said daily average revenues for the first seven weeks of 2014 were up over 15 percent on the first quarter of 2013, helped by the addition of PokerStrategy.

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