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LeoVegas AB Q2: Quarterly report 1 April – 30 June 2020

George Miller

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Announcement from LeoVegas 2021 Annual General Meeting
Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

“The strong EBITDA growth clearly illustrates the scalability of our business model”

– Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO

second quarter 2020: 1 april–30 june

  • Revenue increased by 17% to EUR 110.7 m (94.4). Organic growth in local currencies was 19%.
  • EBITDA was EUR 23.0 million (15.1), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 20.8% (16.0%) and a growth of 53 %.
  • The number of depositing customers was 434,453 (350,298), an increase of 24%.
  • Earnings per share were EUR 0.14 (0.08) before and after dilution, while adjusted earnings per share were EUR 0.19 (0.11).

Events during the quarter

  • LeoVegas completed the migration of 12 brands in the UK to the Group’s proprietary technical platform.
  • The LiveCasino.com brand was launched in a number of English-speaking countries.
  • At LeoVegas’ Annual General Meeting on 8 May, Anna Frick and Fredrik Rüdén were re-elected as board members. Hélène Westholm, Mathias Hallberg, Carl Larsson, Per Norman and Torsten Söderberg were elected as new board members. Per Norman was elected as Chairman of the Board.
  • The effects related to COVID-19 are judged overall to have had a positive impact on NGR during April and May, however, the effect on revenues in Sweden was negative during the quarter.

Events after the end of the quarter

  • Preliminary revenue in July amounted to EUR 30.7 m (29.3), representing growth of 5%. The temporary restrictions introduced in Sweden starting on 2 July have had a negative impact on revenue.
  • The number of depositing customers increased by 34% in July compared with the same period a year ago, to a new record level for a single month.
  • GoGoCasino was launched in Finland. An international rollout of the brand is now continuing.
  • LeoVegas has increased its ownership in the e-sports betting operator Pixel.bet to 85%, from 51% previously.

COMMENT FROM GUSTAF HAGMAN – GROUP CEO

SECOND QUARTER 2020
LeoVegas has delivered continued solid growth and profitability during a period of exceptional circumstances in the world around us. Supported by the record-large customer base that we entered the quarter with, together with our ability to quickly adapt to new conditions, the positive trend from the first quarter is continuing.

Revenue during the second quarter amounted to EUR 110.7 m (94.4), representing organic growth of 19%. Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) for casino grew 24% during the period, while for sports betting it decreased by 53% compared with the same period a year ago.

EBITDA amounted to EUR 23.0 m (15.1), corresponding to a margin of 20.8% (16.0%). We thus grew EBITDA by 53%, which shows the scalability in our business model from higher revenue. The sharply improved operating profit has been achieved despite a continued high pace of expansion and increased investments in technology and products.

covid-19
I am very satisfied with how we at LeoVegas are handling the COVID-19 situation so that we can conduct our business without noticeable disruptions, despite challenges such as not being able to meet in our daily work. Our industry, like many other sectors, is experiencing a structural shift from offline to online. Owing to LeoVegas’ online position, appreciated brands and proprietary technical platform, we stand strong in an increasingly digital world.

Markets
We had favourable development in most of our markets during the second quarter. Growth has been driven primarily by a record-large depositing customer base, which grew 24% compared with a year ago. The Rest of Europe region experienced exceptionally high growth, with Italy posting record-strong performance. The effects related to COVID-19 are judged overall to have had a positive impact on NGR during April and May, mainly in the markets that were entirely shut down during the period. In these markets, LeoVegas has taken market shares from the land-based gambling industry. However, the effect on revenue related to COVID-19 is judged to have been negative in Sweden during the quarter.

responsible gaming
During the quarter, several countries implemented measures to reduce the risk for problem gaming in connection with COVID-19. Spain, for example, introduced a temporary ban on gambling advertising. On top of these restrictions, LeoVegas has chosen to implement its own proactive measures to strengthen player protection. Most of the temporary restrictions throughout Europe ended in June, and Spain and the UK, among other countries, have reverted to normal regulations once their respective societies opened up again.

It is therefore remarkable that Sweden, despite massive criticism from most areas, has moved in the opposite direction and introduced new, temporary restrictions, effective 2 July, focused particularly on online casino. There is a large risk that these restrictions, implemented entirely without supporting factual data, are undermining the Swedish regulation system and driving players to companies without Swedish licences, where player protection is non-existent. These restrictions therefore risk being counter-productive and instead contribute to an increase in problem gaming in Sweden.

The independent research consultancy Copenhagen Economics has noted that one consequence of the new restrictions is that the unregulated market for online casino may increase to as much as 50%, which is far from the authorities’ stated goal to limit the unregulated market to 10% at most.

We advocate for balanced and clear regulations for achieving long-term sustainable licensing systems. LeoVegas wants to contribute to this through a broader dialogue and collaboration with the authorities in the countries we are active in.

MULTIBRAND STRATEGY
During the quarter we launched the new LiveCasino.com brand in a number of English-speaking countries. We see great potential for the brand. The start has been promising, and additional markets are to be expected.

Following the successful launch of GoGoCasino in Sweden last year, an international rollout of the brand is now under way. Finland was the second market to launch, at the start of July.

The successful launches of new brands are in line with the company’s multibrand strategy and show our ability to create new revenue streams while at the same time drawing benefit from the Group’s economies of scale.

comments on third quarter
Revenue for the month of July amounted to EUR 30.7 m (29.3), representing a growth rate of 5%.

Our assessment is that the gaming market has returned to a more normal environment in July, with a natural player shift from casino back to sports betting now that the major sports leagues have restarted. At the same time, the temporary restrictions introduced in Sweden starting on 2 July are having a negative impact on revenue.

The positive trend in our customer base is continuing into the third quarter, and the number of depositing customers increased by 34% in July compared with the same period a year ago, to a new record level for a single month. We will maintain a continued high rate of investment during the third quarter, partly linked to the launch of new brands and market establishments. Our current assessment is therefore that marketing costs will be in line with – or slightly higher than – the level during the second quarter.

We continue to focus on delivering sustainable and profitable growth for our shareholders and on offering an entertaining and safe gaming experience for our customers around the world. LeoVegas’ long-term vision is to be “King of Casino”.

Presentation of the report – today at 09:00 CET

  • To participate in the conference call, and thereby be able to ask questions, please call one of the following numbers: SE: +46 (0) 8 50 69 21 80, UK: +44 (0) 20 71 92 80 00, US: +1 63 15 10 74 95, Confirmation code: 222 77 69 or join at the web https://edge.media-server.com/mmc/p/5fggroyh

 

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Violife launches first ever vegan BBQ game

Zoltan Tundik

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Photo source: Violife
Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • Violife’s new vegan BBQ online game gives users the chance to win prizes

  • A real game-changer, the launch celebrates the brand’s new Vegan BBQ pack for Summer

Violife, the UK’s leading alternative to cheese and dairy products brand, has announced the launch of its brand new online Vegan BBQ Game. The first Vegan BBQ Game of its kind, and the first for the brand, this game is a fun and interactive way to explore the Violife products and recipes.

Just in time for Summer, Violife’s online Vegan BBQ Game features three modes of game play and also offers players the chance to win real life prizes! Launched in support of the brand’s first ever vegan BBQ Pack, which features three delicious Violife varieties; the new and exclusive Violife BBQ Slices, Violife Greek White and Violife Mediterranean Style Block – all of which can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter their dietary requirements.

Easily accessible from the Violife website, inside the game players must move the chef avatar around the kitchen to recreate three summer ready Vegan BBQ recipes – the classic Greek White Tabbouleh Salad, the mouth-watering Grill Me! Burger and delicious Grilled Pineapple dessert. Players who successfully complete the three recipes and serve them up to their waiting friends within the time limit set will be eligible to win Violife goodie bags [1].  Players also have the option to explore the entire Violife product range from inside the game.

Violife’s new Vegan BBQ Pack is available for shoppers to pick up at Sainsbury’s stores nationwide and costs £6, giving shoppers a saving in comparison to purchasing all three products separately.

The launch of the game and Vegan BBQ Pack coincides with the launch of Violife’s new summer advertising campaign, launched earlier this month. The advert tells the story of friends and family gathered together to enjoy a summer barbecue. It follows various guests around the event, challenging the idea that barbecues can’t be vegan by showcasing all the mouth-watering food that’s on offer and that everyone can enjoy.

The campaign is the debut of Violife’s new updated strapline, ‘Just the way you like it, and vegan.’, which sees the brand replace ‘but vegan’ with ‘and’ to reflect the rising popularity of vegan food and reinforce Violife’s inclusive and supportive ethos to all dietary requirements.

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eSports

Guild Esports Signs Samsung Partnership Deal

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Today, Guild Esports, the leading esports organization co-owned by David Beckham, is pleased to welcome Samsung, world-leader in transformative technologies, as its Official Display Partner.

The partnership with Guild is Samsung’s first partnership agreement with a UK esports organization and will commence from today, following the signing of a one-year deal across the UK & Ireland.

Samsung will provide monitors and displays for Guild’s newly launched Academy and additional monitors for pro-players, content creators, and staff, along with LCD displays and LED signage for rooms in Guild’s future London headquarters. Samsung’s high-performance monitors will offer Guild players the high refresh rate and low response time vital for the competitive world of professional esports.

The partnership will see Samsung enjoy exposure across Guild’s social and digital content, featuring its pro-players and content creators, while also offering VIP experiences for fans. Samsung’s display solutions will also be integrated into the Guild Academy’s physical infrastructure and roadshows.

Guild and Samsung share the same vision for the future of esports, and the partnership reaffirms their commitment to providing best-in-class technology and infrastructure for esports professionals, which are essential for the development of talent at every level and the wider gaming community.

Michelle Tierney, Director of Commercial Partnerships, added: “We’re delighted to be partnering with a brand as prestigious as Samsung, further demonstrating the commitment to our audience by aligning with best-in-class brands throughout our partner family. Samsung is an ideal partner for Guild given its world-leading technology, focus on innovation and providing users with the best possible gaming experience.”

Damon Crowhurst, Display Head at Samsung Electronics UK, said: “Samsung is excited to be joining the Guild family and we look forward to delivering value to the gaming audience. From monitors to displays, Samsung is constantly striving to improve the user experience by harnessing new innovations resulting in total immersion, unrivalled game play and maximum comfort. This partnership shows continued commitment to gamers and the wider industry, offering fans experiences beyond the norm. Historically, we have a long-standing legacy in esports, and we see Guild as the perfect partner to continue this in the UK & Ireland.”

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Latest News

Booongo partners with CatCasino for full product roll-out

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Booongo, the global online slots developer, has taken its complete collection of slot games live with new and emerging European-facing operator CatCasino.

Customers of CatCasino will now have access to a wide range of Booongo’s immersive titles, including popular Hold and Win hits Sun of Egypt 2, Dragon Pearls, and new release Hit the Gold, as well as Aztec Pyramid Megaways™, the first game from the provider to feature the fan-favorite gaming mechanic.

The operator will also be able to utilize Booongo’s array of gamification tools, proven to drive player retention and engagement through its array of tournaments and prize drops.

This latest partnership marks yet more commercial expansion for the supplier, which has recently signed a number of deals in Latin America as it continues to focus its growth on key emerging markets.

Yuriy Muratov, Head of Account Management and Business Development at Booongo, said: “CatCasino is an exciting brand and we’re very pleased to deliver our entire content range to the operator.

“Partnering with bold, innovative companies that mirror our business approach is key and we’re delighted to agree this deal.”

Katja Nordstrand, CEO at CatCasino, said: “Booongo’s portfolio of titles continue to push the boundaries in the industry, as a leading provider of Hold and Win games while its commitment to diversification is clear through the launch of its recent Megaways™ game.

“We’re extremely happy to offer their games to our customers, and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship together.”

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