Holding(s) in Company
Livermore Investmens Press Release 2006 / Q1 2006 Trading Update
Print Current Text  Close

27 April 2006

Empire Online Limited
Q1 2006 Trading Update


Sustained growth in core business.                            

  • Number of new real money player signups for Q1 increased by 44,217                  (Q4 2005: 49,788).
  • Net Gaming Revenue of $21.1m in Q1 (Q4 2005: $22.5m). 
  • Cost per acquisition of new real money players has been maintained                  at the lower end of the normal range at $222 (Q4 2005: $225).
  • Unaudited earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation                  (EBITDA) and exceptional non-recurring items for Q1 of $8.5m                  (Q4 2005:$8.8m)
  • Geographic diversification with over 50% of new real money players                  driven from outside of the USA.
  • Settlement of litigation provides $250m for complementary                  acquisitions.                                   

 Empire Online Limited (the "Company" or              "Empire Online"), a leading online gaming network and              provider of marketing services to the online gaming industry,              today provides the following trading update for the first quarter              of 2006.                            

Trading highlights for Q1 :
  • Number of new real money players across all gaming platforms                  excluding Empire Poker has risen by 36,242 for Q1 2006, which                  represents an increase of 12% over Q4 2005. The number of new                  real money players across all gaming platforms increased by                  44,217. Non-US players accounted for over 50% of all new real                  money signups in Q1 2006.
  • Total Company net gaming revenue for Q1 2006 was $21.1m (Q4 2005:                  22.5m; Q1 2005: $24.4m). Net gaming revenues across all gaming                  platforms excluding Empire Poker for Q1 2006 were $17.6m, an                   increase of 42% on Q4 2005.
  • Total Company Casino revenue of $15.3m (Q4 2005: $11.2m; Q1 2005:                  $5.6m).
  • Total Company Poker revenue of $5.8m (Q4 2005: $11.3m; Q1 2005:                  $18.8m).
  • Estimated earnings before interest taxation depreciation and                  amortisation (EBITDA) and non-recurring exceptional items of                  approximately $8.5m (Q4 2005:                   $8.8m; Q1 2005:  $12.0m) 
  • Cost per acquisition of new real money players has been maintained                  at the lower end of the normal range at $222 (Q4 2005 : $225).
Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)               Q1 ‘06           Q4 ‘05               Change           Q1 ’05               Change
                                       %                    %(1) Number of New RealMoney Players acquiredPoker                             21,288               30,108               (29%)               37,094               (43%)Casino                           22,929               19,680           17%               11,808           94%Total                              44,217               49,788               (11%)               48,902               (10%) (2) Number of Active Players (a) Poker                             93,347               123,006               (24%)               91,549           2%
Casino                           51,801               42,304           22%               30,107           72%Total                              145,148               165,310               (12%)               121,656         19%
 (3) Average ActivePlayers per Day                                                                                         Poker                             14,355               15,382           (7%)               15,219           (6%)Casino                           3,868               2,912             33%               1,463               164%Total                              18,223               18,294           0%               16,682           9% (4) Poker Active Player days
Poker                             0.83m               1.42m               (41%)               1.37m               (40%)                (a) Number of Active Players is defined as those who have played for real money in the preceding 90 days .  

 Outlook and current trading                            


In              February 2006 the dispute arising from PartyGaming plc’s split              of the EmpirePoker platform was successfully concluded. The              settlement included a payment of $250m to Empire Online.                            


Empire              Online’s remaining online platforms have continued to grow              throughout Q4 2005 and through 2006 to date in line with              management expectations. This growth will continue to form the              bedrock of the Company’s continuing development.                            


The              Company now has the financial strength to diversify both its              product and geographical exposure outside of the USA through value              enhancing acquisitions. The Company had $259m of cash on its              balance sheet at the end of Q1.                             


Empire              Online is actively seeking to acquire complementary gaming              businesses in such areas as sports betting, skill-based gaming and              soft-gaming niches such as bingo. In addition, the company is              exploring further poker and casino acquisitions.                             


The              creation of a more diversified gaming group will be further              enhanced by the introduction of shared wallet technology and more              effective cross-marketing between complementary gaming channels.              Expanding into fast growing geographic regions where Empire              currently has little presence through the acquisitions of well              developed local brands will further increase Empire’s footprint                             


Commenting              on today’s trading update, Noam Lanir, CEO, said “I am              delighted to report on such strong growth in our core businesses.              Empire Online is in a strong and stable position and I look              forward to this year being one of further progress for the company              through the continued growth of our existing business and              additional growth from the an acquisition programme which will              diversify the Company’s product and geographic reach.”                            


For further              information:                            


Empire Online Limited                                                                                                +357 25 847 700                           


Noam Lanir, Chief              Executive Officer                           


Andrew Burns, Chief              Financial Officer                           


Andrew Burnett                                                    




Citigate Dewe Rogerson                                                                                           +44 (0) 20 7638 9571                           


Simon Rigby                           


Sarah Gestetner                           


Ged Brumby