Montreal, Canada - The Amaya online gaming company announces a huge profit jump as well as making a permanent replacement for its former CEO David Baazov, who early this year stepped aside to deal with the charges laid against him by Quebec's securities regulator.
Amaya, an online gaming company based in Montreal (TSX:AYA), states that the CEO's post is permanently going to interim CEO Rafi Ashkenazi who has assumed the position since March.
Ashkenazi succeeds David Baazov, who is actually a co-founder of Amaya. Under Baazov's leadership, Amaya became an outstanding global player in online gaming after it purchased PokerStars.
Amaya announced that Baazov resigned all his positions with the company on Thursday, August 11.
Amaya has confirmed in its first half of the year and second quarter report that David Baazov will not be returning to his CEO duties, although Baazov still owns around 18.5% of the company. It is not clear if he still intends to buy the company outright or if there is a possibility that his stake will be sold.
The charges related to insider trading were announced back in March by Quebec financial security regulator the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), where Baazov and other five related to him had 23 charges filed against them.
The AMF stated that between December 2013 and June 2014, the respondents have allegedly used "privileged information pertaining to the securities of Amaya inc. for trading purposes". It was verified in June 2014 that Amaya was to buy off Oldford Group, owner of the Full Tilt and PokerStars brands, for a total of $4.9bn.
Baazov faces five charges, and those specifically are for "aiding with trades while in possession of privileged information, influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya inc., and communicating privileged information."
Upon his departure, Baazov said, "I am proud of my contributions in building Amaya into the successful company it is today, and continue to be supportive of its strategy and management."
Amaya expressed their gratitude, saying, "Amaya thanks Mr. Baazov for his contributions to Amaya since its inception and through its rapid growth, and looks forward to Mr. Ashkenazi's continued success in leading the execution of Amaya's strategy."
Amaya beamingly announced also that they have experienced a huge jump in net earnings in the 2nd quarter from continuing operations. Furthermore, they had a 10% increase in revenue and a 24.5% higher adjusted earnings, which are all in US currency.
From $72.1 million or 36 cents per share, Amaya's adjusted earnings have now risen to $89.7 million or 46 cents per share.
From $6.4 million, the net earnings from continuing operations have more than tripled to $22.5 million, with earnings per share rising from 3 cents to 12 cents.
The revenue has now risen to $285.9 million in the quarter, from $259.5 million garnered in the same quarter last year.
Amaya's brands include Full Tilt, PokerStars, and others that overall claim having a total of 103 million registered customers.