After Costly Period, Devilfish is Growing

24 October 2008

Back in March, when the word "recession" had but one foot out from behind the curtain, Devilfish Gaming went to market. While the small-cap company was hurt by transfer and flotation expenses for the year to June 30, seven months after its I.P.O. metrics suggest Devilfish Gaming is growing.

The company, branded after David "Devilfish" Ulliott, a popular professional poker player in Europe, generated turnover of £21,763 on a loss of £431,414. Devilfish Gaming currently operates two poker rooms and two casinos, though a segmental revenue breakdown was not given.

Formerly, Devilfish's Gaming's poker room -- its flagship product -- operated on the UltimateBet Network. After the company went public on London's Plus Markets, however, it migrated its poker room to the Entraction Network.

The move, completed in May, was made because the company was concerned about Ultimate Bet's exposure to American liquidity. Additionally, Devilfish Gaming sought to leverage both Entraction's Maltese license to advertise in the United Kingdom and its technology, which allowed Devilfish Gaming to go the way of its European peers: multi-channel.

In earlier interviews with IGamingNews, Paul J. Barnes, the company's chief executive was reluctant to give revenue forecasts as his company, during the migration period, had stopped marketing its old platform and had yet to begin marketing its new one.

In the results statement today, the company said that once marketing began with Entraction, so too did growth.

In a comparison of June and September data, average daily net gaming revenue tripled from 455 euros to 1,512 euros. Daily deposits were up from 879 euros to 2,656 euros with daily yield per player up from 12 euros to 38 euros.

Devilfish Gaming chalked its loss up to migration-related expenses as well as significant non-recurring costs associated with its flotation. Before administrative expenses (£427,910), the company made a gross loss of £17,292. It has equity of £2.7 million.

By jurisdiction, the company took 52 percent of its revenue from the United Kingdom, 44 percent from "Other European" and the remainder from a segment often seen on P&Ls called "Other."

The company spent approximately £61,000 on advertising, which Mr. Barnes said in May would be delivered across a variety of media, including print, television and online.

While the company did not disclose cost per acquisition -- activity financial sources have indicated to IGN is becoming ever more expensive for poker operators -- Mr. Barnes said the company benefits from lower C.P.A. because Mr. Ulliott is so well recognized in Europe.

The company is still considering whether to launch a sports book but, more firmly, intends to launch a branded bingo product in late 2008.

Chris Krafcik is the editor of IGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Mo.