Challenging Backdrop: Playtech “Achieved Progress” but Made Losses of €73 Million in 2020
Like almost everybody in the gambling world during the COVID-19 pandemic, Isle of Man-based company Playtech has had a bumpy year.
Overall revenues for the company have dropped as much as 25%, although it still managed to bring in over €1 billion ($1.194 billion).
That admittedly still large figure was not enough to cover Playtech’s expenses, as it posted a post-tax loss of nearly €73 million ($87 million) in its final report for the financial year of 2020.
In 2019, Playtech made a $97 million profit over the same yearly period. So, that’s some loss to deal with.
However, company figures remained upbeat about their prospects for 2021. Playtech has been busy streamlining its operation, dropping operating costs by 37% down to €468 million ($558 million).
This entailed dropping its Fin-tech trading business and culling a whole load of casual, non-gambling games from its portfolio.
Playtech has also been expanding into the US and South American online gambling markets to help offset some of the decline in land-based revenues in 2020. Its Italian betting subsidiary Snaitech Italia was hit particularly hard by the closure of many of its popular physical betting terminal locations across Italy.
Strategic and Operational Progress
Playtech’s brilliantly named CEO Mor Weizer was enthusiastic about the company’s outlook for this year and further into the near future.
“The significant strategic and operational progress we achieved in 2020 has placed us in a strong position to capture the exciting market opportunities ahead”CEO Mor Weizer
Despite the pandemic not being in full swing in the first few months last year, Playtech presciently noticed the potential impacts and suspended its shareholder distributions for the year as early as February.
Mr. Weizer also commented on that in the company statement. “Playtech remains committed to returning capital to shareholders whilst balancing the needs of the business and taking a prudent approach to its capital structure and leverage,” he said.
Playtech has also been “adding new brands, expanding existing relationships and entering new markets” Mr. Weizer continued.
“We are particularly pleased with the excellent progress we have made in the US market, launching with bet365 and Entain in 2020.”
Then there’s also the good news for Playtech – its two-year search for a new chairman is finally over.
Previous Chairman, Alan Jackson, quit in 2019 – making Playtech’s senior job hunt one of the “longest boardroom searches in recent corporate history”according to Sky News.
Long-term company employee Claire Milne has been interim Chairperson for the past ten months, but she was never expected to fill the role permanently.
The new Chairman of Playtech’s board will be Brian Mattingley, formerly of 888 Holdings. Mr. Mattingley spent 15 years with Playtech’s competitor. His appointment was confirmed last week, but it is unknown if he has actually started work in his new role just yet.
“Playtech is ideally placed to continue to build on its market leadership position and I look forward to working with everyone at Playtech to drive forward its strategy and capitalize on the opportunities ahead”Mr. Mattingley
Mr. Mattingley will be replaced as 888 Holdings chairman by experienced British political insider and UK House of Lords member Lord Jonathan Mendelsohn.
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