Market Report: Bwin.Party excite investors by throwing sink at problems


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The Independent Online

Management at Bwin.Party are throwing the kitchen sink at its problems and investors are excited.

Its chief executive Norbert Teufelberger admitted that a “more fundamental” approach is needed to revive the fortunes of the struggling online gaming group, which yesterday revealed a 24 per cent slump in profit and an 8 per cent drop in revenue.

Bwin.Party, which was successfully targeted earlier this year by the activist investor SpringOwl, said it would find a further €15m (£12m) a year in savings through simplifying the business and considering potential spin-offs. Mr Teufelberger put his money behind the plan, spending just over £200,000 on shares, while chairman Philip Yea also splashed out £150,000 on stock. Bwin jumped 10.15p to 90.30p.

The FTSE 100 managed to shrug off an afternoon dip to close up 13.95 points at 6,819.75. One of the best performers was AstraZeneca, 87.5p better  at 4,567p. The drug giant was buoyed by the start of phase III trials of a new cancer treatment, as well as continuing bid speculation as a newspaper claimed there are “indications” that takeover talks with US rival Pfizer have resumed.

The materials testing specialist Exova became the latest company to be hit by the surging pound as it revealed a 2.7 per cent slide in revenue in the first half. The Edinburgh-based company also warned that performance in the second half isn’t likely to be much better. It shed 22p to 193p.

It’s been a turbulent few months for the Czech coal miner New World Resources, but it’s finally making headway in tackling its near $1bn (£600m) debt pile. The company, which has been hit by falling commodity prices, said creditors have approved its debt restructuring plan, sending it 1p higher to 9.25p.

The Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk slipped on Thursday after warning that  sanctions could have a “significant impact” on the group. But yesterday it roared back, putting on 6p to 40.5p. Investors are hoping for imminent good news on its debt refinancing.

Zoo Digital, which makes software for subtitling and dubbing video, fell 1.12p to 8.12p on AIM after revealing that losses spiralled to $2.7m in the first half.