Playtech stock drops after Malaysia warning

Shares in London-listed Playtech plunged in Thursday trading after the group warned that the ongoing crackdown on illegal gaming in Malaysia continues to affect profit.

The stock was down more than 12 percent in early trading, before recovering some ground by late afternoon.

Average daily revenue in its gaming division for the first 51 days of the first quarter was down 11 percent. Excluding Asia ADR rose 3 percent in the period.

Overall for 2017, the group posted an 18 percent gain in profit on a constant currency basis to 807.1 million euros ($995.2 million).  Adjusted net profit was up 8 percent at $231.4 million.

The company warned in November that concerted efforts to stamp out illegal gambling in Malaysia may have an impact on its results. It said there had been no change in the operating environment since that announcement.

“Playtech delivered double digit revenue growth in 2017 despite headwinds in both regulated and unregulated operations. Playtech’s performance continues to be converted into strong cash generation enabling a 10 percent increase to the full year dividend,” Chairman Alan Jackson said.