Playtech first-half profit drops as COVID-19 hits sales, sports events

(Reuters) - Gambling software maker Playtech PTEC.L said on Thursday it expects online business to remain strong even as it posted lower first-half profit, hit by store closures and sports events cancellations due to coronavirus-led curbs.

The world’s biggest supplier of technology for online gaming operators said first-half adjusted core earnings fell 15% to 162.3 million euros (147.70 million pounds) for the six months ended June 30.

The company, however, said it remains cautious about the outlook for its retail business.

Playtech said it saw strong cash generation in July and August and has continued to expand into important markets such as the United States and Latin America.

The company also said it does not expect strong second-half performance at its financial trading arm TradeTech as it did in the first half as market volatility is currently significantly lower.

Shares of the company were down 7.8% at 361 pence in early trade.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.