TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian gaming company Amaya Inc AYA.TO, the owner of online gambling sites PokerStars and Full Tilt, reported a massive jump in revenue and an adjusted profit on Thursday, on the back of its pivot to focus on the burgeoning online gambling market.
Montreal-based Amaya, which transformed itself in 2014 after it acquired PokerStars and Full Tilt through a $4.9 billion buyout of Rational Group, has been selling or spinning off its non-core assets over the last few months.
Excluding one-time amortization and acquisition related costs among other items, the company posted an adjusted profit of C$82.5 million ($69 million), or 41 Canadian cents a share. That compared with a year earlier loss of C$1.3 million, or 1 Canadian cent a share.
Quarterly revenue rose to C$340.1 million, from C$12.8 million, a year ago, said Amaya, which recently signed a deal to sponsor Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr, who plays at the club level with Barcelona FC in Spain.
“We saw continued strength in our core consumer online gaming business in the first quarter,” said Chief Executive David Baazov in a statement, adding that PokerStars grew its share of the global online poker market and saw gross deposits rise some 9 percent on a domestic currency basis.
PokerStars, which recently signed Japanese model and actress Yuiko Matsukawa as a new celebrity brand ambassador, estimates it controlled some 66 percent of the online poker market, based on cash game and tournament players in the first quarter, up from 62 percent a year earlier.
Last month, Amaya spinned off and listed its Diamond Game unit into a new entity dubbed Innova Gaming Group IGG.TO. Diamond Game designs, develops and markets games mainly for the North American lottery industry.
In March, it agreed to sell its Cadillac Jack unit that makes slot machines and electronic bingo games for casinos to an affiliate of private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N) for C$476 million.
Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Bernadette Baum