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Annual Report & Accounts 2005 - Chairman's Statement
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CHAIRMANíS STATEMENT I am pleased to present Gaming VCís maiden set of results since our admission to AIM in December 2004. These results are in line with market expectations and I am pleased to say that we are delivering our target of 2% average revenue growth per month. The results for the year ended 31 December 2005 show an operating profit of e13.4 million (2004: e0.4 million) and a net profit of e12.8 million (2004: e0.3 million). The Board has recommended a final dividend of 21p (gross) per share, giving a total distribution of 42p for the year. Earnings per share on profit after tax were e0.41 (2004: e0.02). The dividend will be paid on 22 May 2006 to holders on the share register at 21 April 2006. Gaming VC provides a proven business model and is a leading online gaming operator in German speaking countries. Importantly, we do not accept wagers from US customers and as such are not affected by current or potential prohibitive legislation in that market. The Board is confident that this lack of exposure to the United States significantly enhances the value of the Group relative to our peer group. Our aim is to continue growing in our core German markets, where new marketing initiatives have proven to be successful and we are continuing to expand market share. We are also selectively looking at opportunities to replicate this model in other geographic areas. A key factor in Gaming VCís growth is its committed and experienced management team. In January 2006, we welcomed Gerard Cassels to Gaming VCís management committee as Finance Director. Gerard brings a wealth of experience to the Group, having held the position of Finance Director within several successful listed companies in Europe. Furthermore, the Board proposes that Adrian J R Smith is appointed as a Non-Executive Director. Adrian is the CEO of the Woolton Group, and has significant public company and corporate governance experience, having been the Non-Executive Chairman of the Carter and Carter Group from 2002 through to its £otation in 2005. In addition to his continued non-executive director position at Carter and Carter plc, he serves on the board of Tutogen Medical Inc in the USA, and the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. His management experience includes Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Grant Thornton LLP and Arthur Andersen LLP, as well as Procter and Gamble. It is expected that Adrian will be Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and will also sit on the other core governance committees of Audit and Nomination. Shareholders will be asked to confirm Gerard Casselsí and Adrian Smithís appointments at the forthcoming AGM. We are well positioned to maintain our growth in 2006 and are confident that our efforts to build Gaming VCís presence in the online casino market will continue to deliver positive results. Trading in 2006 to date has been comfortably in line with managementís expectations. Nigel Blythe-Tinker Chairman 2