Bwin.party sees return to growth in World Cup year
By Keith Weir
LONDON (Reuters) - Online gambling company Bwin.Party said this year's soccer World Cup would help it to return to growth after problems in Greece and a shift away from riskier markets cut earnings in 2013.
Bwin.Party is concentrating on fewer markets where regulations are more clear cut and is expanding in the United States as gambling rules are relaxed there.
Rival Betfair, another of a cluster of online gambling companies that have grown up over the past decade, is pursuing a similar strategy.
"Having streamlined the shape and size of our business we now have the foundations to return our business to sustainable growth," Chief Executive Norbert Teufelberger said.
Gambling companies believe the World Cup in Brazil in June-July will boost their business this year, reflecting the growing importance of soccer in betting markets.
"With all of the major European teams competing and given our footprint across Europe, we are well positioned to drive betting volumes over the summer months," Teufelberger said.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization fell to 108 million euros ($150.17 million) in 2013 from 165 million the previous year because of falling revenue, increased gaming taxes in Germany and start-up costs in New Jersey. Continued...