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Evolution Gaming’s Year-end Report 2019

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Evolution Gaming’s Year-end Report 2019
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Fourth quarter of 2019 (Q4 2018)

Operating revenues increased by 51% to EUR 106.0 million (70.2)

EBITDA increased by 77% to EUR 55.8 million (31.6), corresponding to a margin of 52.7% (45.0)

Profit for the period amounted to EUR 46.8 million (25.5)

Earnings per share before dilution amounted to EUR 0.26 (0.14)

 

Full-year 2019 (2018)

Operating revenues increased by 49% to EUR 365.8 million (245.4)

EBITDA increased by 70% to EUR 182.9 million (107.7), corresponding to a margin of 50.0% (43.9)

Profit for the period amounted to EUR 149.7 million (83.5)

Earnings per share before dilution amounted to EUR 0.83 (0.46)

The Board proposes a dividend of EUR 0.42 per share (0.24)

 

Events during the fourth quarter of 2019

Good leverage from investments made in 2019 has contributed to a continued high growth

Several new customers signed – Flutter Entertainment with brands Paddy Power and Betfair, Parx Casino and Penn National Gaming

Continued expansion in North America

 

Comments from CEO Martin Carlesund: “I am very satisfied to be able to present yet another strong quarter which summarises a successful 2019 for Evolution. The products we launched during the year – including new titles in the Game Show category – in combination with a continued strong market development and global demand, have contributed to a very high growth rate. Furthermore, we also experienced strong results from the investments in increased studio capacity we have made in recent years. Those factors, in combination with a constant pursuit of cost efficiency, has had a positive effect on our margin.

This year’s result trend has continued in the fourth quarter. Revenue in the fourth quarter amounted to EUR 106.0 million, an increase of 51 percent compared with the corresponding period last year. EBITDA amounted to EUR 55.8 million corresponding to a margin of 52.7 percent. The EBITDA margin for the full year reached 50 percent, the highest full-year margin in the company’s history and slightly surpassed our expectations from this summer which was 47–49 percent. For 2020, we expect to be able to maintain or slightly improve the margin level compared to 2019.

At the end of the fourth quarter, Evolution had more than 700 tables serving over 200 customers. During the quarter, we further strengthened our customer portfolio, including an agreement with Flutter Entertainment and its brands Paddy Power and Betfair. Our presence in the United States was also strengthened in the quarter through agreements with new operators in Pennsylvania and the process to build a studio in Pennsylvania is ongoing.

We see good opportunities for continued positive development in the US. In the quarter we have made additional investments in the studio in New Jersey to expand its capacity, our game portfolio and to meet the demand. It is also positive to note that during the quarter Michigan has taken important steps toward becoming a regulated casino market.

When you are reading this, we have recently finished this year’s edition of ICE London Gaming Fair – where we showcased 12 fantastic new titles. With ground-breaking games like ‘Crazy Time’ and ‘Mega Ball’, we will continue to expand the Game Show category and aim to attract new player groups to Live. Examples of innovations on show in table games are Instant Roulette, Power Blackjack and Speed Blackjack. The dice game Craps, an important strategic release primarily for the US market, will also be interesting to follow. These are some examples of how we through innovative product launches continue to drive the entire industry forward and confirms our position as the leading innovator in the gaming industry. I am convinced that the new game titles will be received well by both players and operators and contribute to further growth in 2020.

To summarise, I am proud of what we have achieved in 2019, which has been an outstanding year from both a financial and operational perspective. I am very impressed with what our employees achieve every day – we are now approximately 8,000 employees working together with our eternal mission; to increase the gap to the competitors by offering the market’s best solutions. 2020 has started well and I look forward to another exciting year!”

Industry News

Catena Media Reports Strong Growth in Q3

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Catena Media has announced the preliminary results for the third quarter ahead of the interim report to be published on November 17.

The company reports strong growth in revenue and adjusted EBITDA fuelled by an exceptionally strong US performance, along with an impairment charge arising from a writedown of German and French sports assets.

Revenue in Q3 is estimated at EUR 33.1m (24.9m), up 33% from the same period last year. Revenue from North American iGaming increased by approximately 124% and accounted for 51% of group revenue during the quarter.

Organic growth is estimated at 23%, or 34% excluding the now-regulated German iGaming market, where revenue fell approximately 62% and accounted for 4% of group revenue during the quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA, excluding items affecting comparability, is estimated at EUR 16.0m (12.0m), an increase of 33% and corresponding to a margin of 48%.

Operating profit will be negatively impacted by a non-cash impairment of intangible assets in accordance with IAS 36, resulting in an estimated writedown of EUR 49.4m. EUR 42.8m of the writedown pertains to German sports assets acquired between 2016 and 2018. EUR 6.6m relates to French sports assets acquired in 2018.

The writedown and consequent impairment charge reflect an updated assessment by management of the assets’ expected future earnings in the context of recent regulatory changes in Germany’s iGaming market and overall market conditions. Management regularly assesses expected future earnings in accordance with IAS 36 and may further adjust assets’ amortisation plans. The writedown will have no impact on cash flow.

Catena Media CEO Michael Daly said: “Q3 was an exceptional quarter with September revenue breaking our monthly all-time high. This was the result of our strategic investment in organic development, particularly in North America, and was supported by two recent acquisitions in the United States and the opening of the iGaming market in Arizona. The impairment charge adjusts our European business to new market realities following a review by the management team and our focus on transforming the business to reach maximum potential.”

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Industry News

888 Announces Q3 2021 Trading Update

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888, one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming companies, has announced a trading update for the three months ended 30 September 2021 (Q3 2021). The Group’s Q3 2021 performance was in line with the Board’s expectations.

At the end of the Period and following policy changes published by the Dutch Gambling Authority (KSA), the Group took the decision to cease provision of services in the Netherlands from 1 October 2021. The Group continues to believe the Netherlands represents an attractive medium-term opportunity and intends to apply for a local licence in the coming months. Notwithstanding this unforeseen development within the Netherlands, the Board remains confident that the performance of the Group during the current year will be in line with its expectations.

Looking ahead, the timing of any licence award within the Netherlands remains unclear, but the Group aims to be operational within the country during the second half of 2022. This temporary closure is expected to negatively impact 2022 EBITDA, post certain mitigations at Group level, by approximately $10 million, with no change in the Group’s expectations for 2023 and beyond.

Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, said: “Q3 2021 was a period of outstanding strategic progress for 888. During the period we announced the transformational acquisition of William Hill International, successfully launched SI Sportsbook in the US, and began operating 888sport under a new licence in Germany as we continued to execute our plan to build a global online betting and gaming leader.

“Alongside these important strategic milestones, I am pleased with the Group’s continued positive trading, particularly as we lap very tough comparative periods. This performance reflects the continued success of our data-driven investments and execution against our product-leadership plan that delivers ongoing improvements in the usability, quality and safety of our sports betting and gaming products.

“Underpinned by our advanced technology, leading products, and strong brands, as well as the increased scale, talent and diversification that the Group will benefit from as a result of its combination with William Hill International, we have a very exciting platform for long-term growth.”

Business Review

Q3 2021 was a period of significant progress for 888. During the Period, the Group announced the transformational acquisition of William Hill International, which will significantly enhance the enlarged Group’s scale and create leading positions in several key regulated markets. In addition, the Group continued to deliver on its long-term growth strategy in the US market with the successful launch of SI Sportsbook in Colorado, utilising 888’s in-house sports betting platform for the first time in the US.

B2C

Gaming revenue growth of 11% was led by casino, reflecting the continuing success of the Group’s investment in enhancing the user experience through product and content leadership as well as AI-driven personalisation.

During the period, the Group launched more than 150 new casino games including several in-house developed games, which continue to resonate well with customers and provide a differentiated experience. Alongside expanding the range of content, the Group continues to improve the experience for customers using AI-driven recommendation engines and personalised offers, which it believes is leading to increased share of wallet, and therefore market share gains in several key regulated markets such as the UK, Italy, Spain and Romania.

Betting revenue declined 15% against Q3 2020 when the Group delivered a very strong performance that benefited from a condensed calendar of sporting events following Covid-related disruption, particularly within football across the Group’s UK and key European markets. Compared to Q3 2019, betting revenue increased 21%.

B2B

Revenue from 888’s B2B division increased 4% to $9.6 million, with both the bingo and US operational segments delivering moderate growth.

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Industry News

SYNOT Games Signs Distribution Deal with Playtech

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SYNOT Games has signed a new content distribution deal with Playtech, the world’s leading gambling technology company.

This deal is another important landmark in the SYNOT Games growth strategy, continuing to deliver gaming content into new, regulated markets.

This partnership will further enrich the existing Playtech offering of popular titles, including top performers such as Book of Secrets, Respin Joker, Mysterious Atlantis and newest releases Pixel Reels, Fruits Go Multiply, Diamondz and others. SYNOT Games slots will be available in both desktop and mobile resolutions.

The popularity of the 70 plus in-house produced SYNOT Games has risen rapidly among Europe’s largest online casino brands as well as retail slot halls and is now available to a broader player audience.

“This partnership shows our commitment to expanding our reach into new regulated markets across the globe and we are looking forward to a successful partnership,” Ivan Kodaj, CEO at SYNOT Games, said.

“We are delighted that SYNOT Games has joined the Playtech distribution network as its Casino software partner. Playtech’s scale and distribution is a powerful offering for potential partners, and this is a great example of our commitment to partnering with the right and well-known companies to bring great content to regulated and growing markets,” Tomasz Mogiła, Country Manager at Playtech, said.

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