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LeoVegas AB: Quarterly report 1 april – 30 june 2019

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“LeoVegas is delivering good growth with high profitability in a difficult-to-navigate environment. Q2 2019 was our best quarter ever, and we continue to take market shares.” – Gustaf Hagman, VD och koncernchef

Second quarter 2019: 1 april–30 june 2019[1]

  •  Revenue increased organically by 8% to EUR 94.4 m (87.4).
  •  EBITDA was EUR 15.1 m (15.0), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 16.0% (17.2%).
  •  The number of depositing customers was 334,961 (309,987), an increase of 8%.
  •  The number of returning depositing customers was 196,203 (175,500), an increase of 12%.
  •  Earnings per share were EUR 0.07 (0.07) before and after dilution.

Events during the quarter

  •  LeoVegas was granted a gaming licence in Spain. Two weeks after the licence was granted, LeoVegas was launched in Spain.
  •  LeoVegas’ technological infrastructure was migrated to Google Cloud.
  •  A number of product innovations were launched, including improved search functions, multiplay on mobile devices and exclusive games.

Events after the end of the quarter

  •  Preliminary revenue of EUR 29.7 m (27.1) in July, representing growth of 9%.
  •  LeoVegas has opted to not apply for a gaming licence in the recently re-regulated Swiss market. Switzerland accounted for EUR 2.2 m of revenue during the second quarter.
  •  Dersim Sylwan recruited as new Chief Marketing Officer and will assume his position by 1 January 2020 at the latest.
  •  Louise Nylén leaving as deputy CEO. Her role will not be replaced.
  •  Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting on August 28 regarding incentive program. The notice is posted on the company’s website.

Comment from Gustaf Hagman – Group CEO

First half of 2019
During the first half of 2019 we generated good underlying growth and profitability despite a difficult-to-navigate external environment in several of our largest markets.

Second quarter results
Revenue during the second quarter amounted to EUR 94.4 m (87.4), an increase of 8%. Organic growth in local currencies was 8%. Growth was favourable during the period in most of our markets. However, the UK continued to be challenging. Excluding the UK, organic growth was 26%. At the same time, in Sweden we have found a new base to grow from following regulation of the market, and our revenue developed in a positive direction month-on-month during the quarter.

Compared with a year ago, LeoVegas has a more balanced geographic revenue mix. This means that we are not as sensitive to challenges that may arise in a specific market, which in turn means that we have lower business risk in the Group.

EBITDA totalled EUR 15.1 m (15.0) during the second quarter, corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 16.0% (17.2%). Greater focus on efficiency and cost control has had the intended effect, and we continue to review our external agreements and optimise our own organisation. This work is helping to create necessary economies of scale and is countering the effect of that we are paying more gambling taxes. As previously communicated, our marketing investments also decreased compared with the first quarter of the year. A contributing factor to this is more restrained marketing in Sweden during the quarter. In addition, the postponement of a few campaigns from the second to the third quarter has affected costs and contributed to operating profit, which will have a reverse effect during the third quarter.

To further benefit from the expertise that has been added through acquisitions and be more efficient, we have restructured the country organisations for the UK and Italy. We have moved country-specific functions into our central teams and eliminated roles that have become redundant as a result of acquisitions. This is one of many initiatives we have taken to increase efficiency and optimisation within the Group.

Sweden
Sweden has now been a regulated market for more than six months, and the development is beginning to indicate what kind of market we will have over the long term. We are satisfied with our performance in Sweden and believe that we are taking market shares. LeoVegas is today the single largest casino brand in Sweden. Our focus on product and customer experience, our knowledge about regulated markets and our strong brand position contribute to the positive development. On top of this, the launches of GoGoCasino and Pixel.bet have been successful, and the brands are appreciated by our Swedish customers.

As a large and long-term player both in Sweden and globally, we at LeoVegas want to participate in changing the perception of the industry. There is a strong need today to educate and inform the general public, opinion-shapers and politicians about our industry, what we stand for and the work we are doing – not least in responsible gaming and sustainability. This is important for ensuring that we work together to secure that the new regulation is a success with high participation in the licence system, i.e. that there is a high level of channelization, and with extensive consumer protections.

Expansion
Only two weeks after we received our licence in Spain, we went live as the first newly licensed operator. This shows the strength and speed of LeoVegas and further demonstrates that our experience from regulated markets benefits us. Spain is a step in our continued expansion, and we have also recently carried out launches in other Spanish-speaking countries, such as Chile and Peru, as well as in Brazil.

Technology
During the quarter we migrated our technology to Google Cloud. The move will allow us to better scale our technical infrastructure environment without having to invest in hardware. Within the product innovation area, we have, among other things, launched improved search functionality, multiplay on mobile devices and new, exclusive casino games for LeoVegas customers.

Financial targets
We reiterate our ambitious financial targets to achieve EUR 600 m in revenue and EBITDA of EUR 100 m by 2021. We want to clarify that the targets are based primarily on organic growth, but also include revenue from potential future acquisitions.

Comments on the third quarter
Revenue for the month of July was EUR 29.7 m (27.1), representing growth of 9%.

LeoVegas has opted to not apply for a licence in the recently re-regulated Swiss market, and as a result we are no longer accepting business in that market. Switzerland accounted for EUR 2.2 m in revenue during the second quarter.

Our current assessment is that the Group’s marketing costs will increase during the third quarter compared with the second quarter, both in relation to revenue and in absolute figures.

Final words
We have once again presented a quarter with organic growth combined with good profitability. The investments made in 2018 and efficiency improvement work carried out thus far in 2019 are beginning to generate returns in the form of greater scalability of operations. Despite this, we are not content and are working continually to be even better. The external market environment in several key markets is currently more turbulent and difficult to predict than previously, which is creating new challenges and requirements, but at the same time it is presenting major opportunities for us to grow and take market shares. We continue to focus on becoming the global casino company number 1 – we are King of Casino!

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Ixia launches $20 million global gaming venture Fund and Studio

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Ixia launches $20 million global gaming venture Fund and Studio
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Ixia Capital, a venture capital fund and studio, has launched with an investment of $20 million focused on high-growth companies across gaming, esports, digital assets, and complementary technologies.

The fund has been founded by partners with deep firsthand iGaming industry experience, enabling entrepreneurs to realise innovative ideas, technologies, and transform business models into profitable companies.

Ixia Capital is a global fund with a focus in India, Africa and UAE where the mission is to accelerate development and manage risks to help ventures succeed in specialised fields. The fund is based in the Cayman Islands, while the Ixia Studio is headquartered in the USA.

Ixia Capital CEO and Venture Partner Mona Motwani, said: “It’s a proud moment for us to officially launch Ixia Capital. Our mission is partnering with driven entrepreneurs to equip them with resources, expertise, exposure and capital that allow them to build the best ideas into great companies. Through this hands-on approach, Ixia is all about accelerating ideas and mitigating risks.”

Ixia Studio, the venture studio arm of Ixia Capital, is in the process of launching six disruptive projects – FasFas Games, a Sports NFT Trading Exchange, a Gaming Loyalty Reward Platform, Sports Investment Thought Leadership Platform, and a Sports Coverage and Games Engagement App. The role of the Studio is to provide funding, resources, and operational support to help entrepreneurs build and scale companies.

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SPOTLIGHT SPORTS GROUP AGREES NEW DEAL WITH HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB

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SPOTLIGHT SPORTS GROUP AGREES NEW DEAL WITH HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB
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Spotlight Sports Group (SSG), a world-leading technology, content, and media company specialising in sports betting, has signed a deal to extend a multi-year agreement with the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC).

The long-term partnership, powered by the Racing Post, will promote Hong Kong racing to a worldwide audience through the provision of full racecards for the Hong Kong Jockey Club meetings at Sha Tin and Happy Valley, editorial and tipping content. The partnership will also enable free-to-view live streams and replays of all Hong Kong racing via Racing Post digital platforms.

The collaboration also sees the promotion of the HKJC’s World Pool initiative, specifically with editorial, tipping and signposting of World Pool meetings. Spotlight Sports Group is delighted to have this agreement in place before Royal Ascot, a meeting that not only features high-class horse racing, but five days of World Pool betting.

James Fitzpatrick, Account Director for B2B Content Services at Spotlight Sports Group, said: “The Hong Kong Jockey Club is one of our key partners and I’m delighted we will be continuing our relationship. Extending this deal ahead of Royal Ascot will allow us to continue to promote World Pool days to a global audience during one of the biggest international meetings of the year.”

The view was shared by Michael Fitzsimons, Executive Director, Wagering Products of the HKJC: “The HKJC and Racing Post are two of the most powerful and respected brands in the horse racing industry and we can see many great opportunities to work together to achieve our goals and longer-term vision throughout the life of the agreement.”

 Spotlight Sports Group aims to support the global betting, horse racing and fantasy sports industries.

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EGT’s Gods & Kings Link with first installation in Bulgaria

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EGT’s Gods & Kings Link with first installation in Bulgaria
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EGT’s jackpot Gods & Kings Link made its debut in Bulgaria. The first local gaming establishment to install the product is the largest casino in the country GoldenEye, located in Svilengrad.

“We are very happy to once again have the opportunity to support our partners from GoldenEye by providing them with one of the latest developments from our slot portfolio,” commented Biserka Draganova, Sales Manager for the Balkans and Egypt at EGT. “The fact that out of a total of 500 machines in the casino, 320 are EGT’s is a testament to the great confidence they have in us, and I believe that Gods & Kings Link will show the excellent results expected from it.”

The product is currently available on several cabinets of the G 50 J2 St model, and will be installed on more by the end of June. Gods & Kings Link has 4 levels of jackpot: Minor and Mini, that are fixed for each machine and Grand and Major, which are progressive and can be won with every bet made on any of the 4 games Rise of Ra, Olympus Glory, Ape of luck and Glorious Alexander. The Grand and Major levels are common with EGT’s bestseller jackpot Bell Link, thus creating even greater chances for wealth.

Gods & Kings Link has definitely caught the attention of our customers and in the short period of time we’ve been offering it, we’ve seen a lot of interest in it,” said Mert Caliskan, Casino Operation Director. “The titles in the mix are extremely interesting and provide lots of bonuses and fun during play. This in combination with the possibility of getting even bigger winnings thanks to the connection to Bell Link, which is very popular in our casino, is a guarantee that this will be another very successful EGT product.”

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