Probability (LON:PBTY) expects 2012 to be a big year for the business, as all key performance indicators in the fourth quarter are showing very strong growth and the mobile gambling specialist does not see the trend slowing any time soon.
In a trading statement covering the three months ending March 31 2012, the company reported a 30 per cent year-on-year rise in net gaming revenue (NGR) to £2.1 million, with 76 per cent of all players during the quarter using a smartphone or tablet, compared to 30 per cent in the same quarter last year.
Business-to-business revenues rose 246 per cent from the fourth quarter a year earlier.
Probability saw a 35 per cent rise in full-year NGR to £7.3 million, in line with management expectations.
Total customer deposits in the 2011 financial year were 58 per cent higher than in the previous year, and deposits per player increased by 41 per cent for the year.
Chief executive Charles Cohen said: "We broke previous records for player deposits, turnover and B2B revenues this quarter.
"That momentum has continued. April is ahead in revenues and deposits from March, with B2B revenues stronger still. We are confident that Probability's growth will continue into the new financial year and beyond.”
During the period, the group completed the first phase of integration into the newly enhanced Facebook platform for mobile and made its games available to William Hill customers through their mobile site.
Other major contracts with significant gaming companies, including Ladbrokes, have been signed and are in the process of being integrated or are awaiting launch.
Existing services with Paddy Power and Rank Group continue to perform strongly.
Abroad, the software set-up for Caliente in Mexico, one of the largest gambling operators in Latin America, has been completed, and the service will start as soon as regulators give the green light.
Probability is also still pursuing its application for a licence to supply its technology to gambling operators in the State of Nevada, but is currently unable to provide a clear timetable.
Due to the cost of a major TV advertising push in the fourth quarter and various other campaigns earlier in the year, it expects to make a small loss for the financial year to end-March.
CEO Cohen: “Investment in advertising on television generates strong returns but requires upfront investment which impacts profits and cash flow in the short term, whilst generating revenues thereafter. The payback period is stable at around five to six months for a campaign and the returns which we are seeing after this point are very healthy.”
"We are very happy with the results so far and confident that we can continue with this strategy as we build our capability to make strong, sustainable profits,“ he added.
Broker Daniel Stewart & Co reiterated its ‘Buy’ recommendation for Probability and its price target of 132 pence, a strong upside from the current level of just under 76 pence.
In reaction to today’s statement, analyst Mike Jeremy has halved his pretax profit forecast for the new financial year to £1.2 million, to reflect expected TV advertising spend, but has raised his revenue forecast to £10.8 million from £9.4 million.
“Our medium-term discounted cashflow-based valuation is unchanged. Rating is ‘Buy’”, Jeremy added.
Numis Securities featured the company in its Morning Morning Notes, pointing out the strong revenue growth in the fourth quarter and strong current trading.
Analyst Ivor Jones views the increased marketing spend as an indication of management's increased confidence in its ability to use television advertising effectively, and called the endorsement of Probability's skills by key B2B customers “the icing on the cake”.
“Probability is in a sweet spot, benefiting from increased use of mobile devices for games and gambling,” Jones said.
“Probability has completed the first phase of its integration with Facebook mobile which will, we believe, open up a significant new market and its B2B services are much in demand. FY13 (the current full year to end-March 2013) is set to be a remarkable year,” he believes.
The analyst reiterated his ‘Buy’ stance and maintained the 150 pence price target.