August 29, 2013 / 6:31 AM / 4 years ago

Playtech first half earnings rise 13 pct, chairman to step down

LONDON, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Gaming software developer Playtech posted a 13 percent jump in first half-earnings on Thursday, helped by the rising popularity of mobile and online gambling, and said it was confident of meeting full year market expectations.

Playtech, which develops software for betting firms such as Paddy Power and Betfair, also said its chairman of seven years, Roger Withers, would step down in October and would be replaced by senior non-executive director Alan Jackson.

The company said underlying adjusted earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation was 78.9 million euros ($105 million) for the six months to the end of June, compared to 69.8 million euros in the previous year.

Total revenues were up 15 percent at 176.8 million euros, while underlying adjusted net profit was 11 percent higher at 69.7 million euros, the company said.

Daily average revenues over the first sixty days of the third quarter are over 10 percent up compared to the same period last year, it said. It also announced an interim dividend of 7.8 euro cents per share, the same as last year.

“As online gaming continues to focus on mobile, it is pleasing to see our investment in this increasingly important market paying-off across many product areas,” Withers said in a statement.

Playtech, which netted 424 million pounds in March after William Hill bought out stake in a joint internet , said it was looking invest in bolt-on acquisitions after buying Pokerstrategy.com for 38.3 million euros in July

Shares in Playtech, which have risen by 85 percent over the past year, closed at 660.5 pence on Wednesday, valuing the company at 1.94 billion pounds.

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