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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Poker boosts Partygaming revenue
Partygaming chief Richard Segal
Richard Segal is expected to be replaced by Mitch Gerber
Partygaming has seen its first quarter revenues up by 54% to $342.6m (193.6m) following a record number of people signing up to play poker online.

The online group's poker players leapt by over 20% to 263,254, of which 39% were from outside the US.

At the same time, the introduction of PartyCasino.com two months ago has boosted overall net casino sales to more than $1m a day.

The quarter also saw the introduction of the group's first multilingual site.

Next steps

In addition to English, the website is now available in French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Russian.

The firm is planning to offer more languages in the coming months as well as different currency options.

It also plans to launch a backgammon site which the company says "should provide an additional revenue stream for the Group as well as broaden the appeal of our Party-branded platform."

Despite the popularity of blackjack, the amount gambled on the company's casino operations fell marginally as "the novelty factor wore off," the company said.

The latest figures follows Partygaming's full year revenues of $980m for 2005, and pre-tax profits of $325m.

Shares in the company rose in early trading by 4% reaching 158 pence but dropped back down later by 3.6% to 146 pence.

Mitch Garber is to succeed Richard Segal as chief executive on Wednesay, 19 April.

Mr Segal, who saw the company through its 4.64bn market float, had already said he was quitting the company.

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