Optimal Group Inc., a Montreal-based company that owns Optimal Payments Corp. and a consumer-electronics company, is reporting a 2008 net loss of $111 million. The company reported a net loss of $36.5 million in 2007. Optimal Group's last profitable year was 2006, when it reported net income of $12.8 million. Revenue last year totaled $152.5 million, up 79.6% from $84.9 million the previous year. Expenses totaled $256.3 million, up 164.8% from $96.8 million. The company did not break out the financial results for its payment division. Optimal blamed a significant part of last year's net loss on $97.4 million in write-downs associated with goodwill, which could include the value a company places on its brands, a change in how it amortizes other intangible assets and the loss of revenue from discontinued operations. Last fall, Optimal Group sold its card-not-present transaction-processing unit to Card One Plus Ltd., a Toronto-based prepaid card and payments-services company, for $7 million (CardLine, 10/9/08). Optimal Group has been divesting its payments business over the past year to concentrate on its WowWee brand of consumer electronic products. In February, Optimal Group sold an option to buy 5,000 merchant accounts to United Bank Card Inc., a Hampton, N.J.-based independent sales organization and processor, for $11 million.

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