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Playtech Reports 70 percent Increase in Profits in 2009


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Times may be tough for some companies in the highly competitive world of
online gambling, but for top online gambling software developer, Playtech,
a slew of new contracts and a joint venture with UK sportsbook William Hill
contributed to its 70 percent rise in full-year profits for 2009.

In 2008 Playtech, which is the largest company listed on AIM (the London Stock
Exchange’s international market for smaller growing companies) sold a number of
gambling assets, businesses and contracts to William Hill for £163 million to
form William Hill Online (WHO) of which it owns 29 percent.

Despite a slow start, WHO generated £20.1 million in profits for Playtech to
help boost its pre-tax profits from £36.8 million to £63 million for the year to
December 31. WHO executives are aiming to transform the company into Europe’s
most successful online gambling and sports betting firm.

Playtech’s revenues rose by 3 percent to £102.8 million after it signed software
licensing deals with large companies including Sega, Virgin and Betfair, the
world’s most successful online betting exchange. But despite its excellent
results, Playtech is not resting on its laurels, but seeking other
opportunities.

One of which is the formation of an important partnership with Scientific Games,
the world’s largest lottery software provider. It’s through this partnership
that Playtech is aiming to expedite the company’s entry into the lucrative
business-to-government market, and record new growth in that sector.

When asked in a recent interview with Dow Jones Newswires about whether the
stabilization in Europe’s economy helped Playtech generate the profits it did,
Mor Weizer, the firm’s CEO had this to say: ‘Current trading is being driven by
the group’s investments in Italy, Spain, and Serbia during over 2009.’

Analysts are giving Playtech credit as an astute deal maker with a variety of
services and offerings that will allow it to capitalize on the expected wave of
regulatory developments in the European online gambling industry. They are
classifying Playtech shares as a good buy at their current value of 503p each.

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