November 7, 2012 / 10:10 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Playtech income jumps, Q4 starts strong

* Q3 gross income up 32 pct, driven by casino gaming and WHO turnover

* Daily activity up 17 percent above last year so far in Q4

* Shares up 2.7 percent

LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Playtech, the world’s biggest provider of online gaming software, reported a 32 percent jump in third-quarter, driven by high turnover in casino gaming products and a minority stake in bookmaker William Hill.

The Estonia-based company develops software platforms for online and other games for clients including Irish bookmaker Paddy Power and gaming company Gala. It also has a 29 percent stake in William Hill Online (WHO).

Chief Executive Mor Weizer said the group had seen progress coming from licensee launches and mobile betting applications.

Playtech reported a five percent rise in gross income to 92.7 million euros ($119 million) in the third quarter, for the three months to end-September.

Shares in the company rose 2.7 percent to a more than 21 month high of 422.10 pence by 0958 GMT.

Daily activity for the first 37 days of the fourth quarter is over 17 percent above last year, driven by high demand for casino and gaming products, such as poker and slots.

Weizer said the group’s stake in William Hill contributed to its good performance, with share in profit up 50 percent to 12.8 million euros, and he expects further growth from Britain’s largest bookmaker.

William Hill has taken steps towards full control of its fast growing online joint venture, set up in December 2008, and is looking to commence the valuation process of Playtech’s stake.

Playtech remains committed to the success of the joint venture, Weizer said, and will ensure a smooth handover of its 29 percent stake to ensure William Hill’s growth.

Analysts say the valuation could be worth 400 million pounds ($645 million).

Nick Batram at broker Peel Hunt said if Playtech does sell its minority stake then it could look to invest in further strategic deals that, given the group’s acquisition track record, may provide a substantial upside.

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