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LeoVegas AB Q4: Year-end report 2020

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LeoVegas repurchases bonds
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“Yet another record year for LeoVegas with a strong close” – Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO

fourth quarter 2020: 1 october–31 december        

  • Revenue increased by 13% to EUR 98.4 m (87.1). Organic growth in local currencies was 14%.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was EUR 11.5 m (9.2), corresponding to an adjusted EBITDA margin of 11.7% (10.6%). Reported EBITDA includes EUR -3.5 m (5.3) in items affecting comparability.
  • The number of depositing customers was 461,983 (372,032), an increase of 24%.
  • Adjusted earnings per share were EUR 0.08 (0.06).

Events during the quarter

  • LeoVegas was the first company in the gaming industry to offer payments via Open Banking.
  • During the quarter the Group’s unique and record-large jackpot was launched under the name LeoJackPot.
  • LeoVegas secured long-term and diversified financing through a combination of a bank credit facility (RCF of EUR 40 m) and a bond issue of SEK 500 m under a total framework of SEK 800 m.
  • During the quarter, LeoVegas repurchased its own shares for approximately EUR 5 million.
  • Ahead of the forthcoming regulation in Germany, a number of changes were implemented. This led to lower revenue during the quarter, with the greatest effect during the month of December.
  • LeoVegas has changed its interpretation of the calculation of gaming taxes in Denmark for earlier periods. This resulted in a self-correction, and a one-off cost of EUR 3.5 m has been charged against EBITDA.
  • Decision has been taken to migrate the Royal Panda brand to the Group’s proprietary technical platform.

Events after the end of the quarter

  • Preliminary revenue in January amounted to EUR 32.5 m (29.9), representing growth of 9%.
  • The Board of Directors proposes a raised dividend totalling SEK 1.60 per share (1.40), an increase of 14%, to be paid out on four occasions during the year.

 

COMMENT FROM GUSTAF HAGMAN – GROUP CEO

STRONG CLOSE TO 2020
LeoVegas concluded the record year 2020 with its strongest fourth quarter ever. And we did this despite frequent changes to the gaming requirements in our markets in addition to finding ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic. I am proud of our ability to quickly adapt to changed conditions through a high capacity for innovation at the same time as we are building an increasingly solid and diversified business. It is a demonstration of strength that LeoVegas delivered adjusted EBITDA growth of 25% for the full year while the operating cash flow increased almost 90 %. This was achieved despite maintaining a high investment pace with launches of new brands, new markets and product improvements.

During the fourth quarter we increased our revenue organically by 14%. Growth was mainly driven by a continued rise in depositing customers, which grew 24% to a new record level. Adjusted EBITDA increased by 25% during the quarter to EUR 11.5 m.  Reported EBITDA was charged with a one-off provision of EUR 3.5 m related to a changed interpretation of the calculation of gaming taxes in Denmark for earlier periods.

MarkETS
With the exceptions of Sweden and the UK, our core markets showed high double-digit growth during the quarter. Above all I want to highlight Italy, which has now become one of our five biggest markets. During the quarter we launched the Pink Casino brand in Canada. The launch is part of our multibrand strategy, where we are utilising existing resources and our technical platform to expand through scale.

In the German market, LeoVegas has implemented a number of changes ahead of the forthcoming licence system in July 2021. As expected, this affected revenue during the period. Operators in the market are acting differently with respect to the new restrictions, and at present necessary clarity is lacking in the ongoing transitional period, which unfortunately has led to a skewed competitive situation until the licence system has been fully implemented.

TECHNOLOGY AND PRODUCTS
During the quarter we carried out and launched several major projects and innovations. In particular I want to highlight our new exclusive jackpot – LeoJackpot – where our customers can win over SEK 50 m directly from their smartphones. We were also first in the industry to offer payments via Open Banking. This will benefit LeoVegas and our customers in many ways, including through more secure and faster payments and lower transaction costs.

During the quarter we began the migration of Royal Panda to our joint technical platform. As a result, in 2021 all brands will be operated on the same platform. The migration will lead to cost synergies such as lower platform and product costs and a more efficient organisation. The decision has also resulted in impairment of intangible assets attributable to Royal Panda’s platform, which was charged against EBIT in the amount of EUR 1.9 m.

FINANCING AND INVESTMENTS
At the end of the year we secured the Group’s long-term financing needs through the combination of a renewed bank credit facility of EUR 40 m and a newly issued corporate bond of SEK 500 m.

Stable financing combined with a strong balance sheet gives us a solid base for continued expansion, both through organic initiatives and potential acquisitions. During the fourth quarter we carried out share repurchases for approximately EUR 5 m. In addition, the Board of Directors proposes an increase in the dividend to SEK 1.60 per share.

COMMENTS ON FOURTH QUARTER
Revenue for the month of January amounted to EUR 32.5 m (29.9), corresponding to annual growth of 9%. In January revenue was fully impacted by the changes carried out in Germany ahead of the forthcoming regulation.

On the tailwinds of a strong 2020 we are now looking forward to a year with many exciting growth initiatives and an even stronger customer offering.

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“Cheer for those who cheer for us”: FAVBET calls on Ukrainian football fans to support Ukraine’s allies at the 2022 World Cup

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November 20 marked the kickoff of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. An event long anticipated by football fans and quite unique in several respects. This year, for the first time ever, the World Cup takes place in the Middle East, in winter, and… against the backdrop of the largest military confrontation in Europe since World War II.

While the stands of Qatari stadiums explode with applause, Ukrainian fans hear explosions in the streets of their cities, and the Ukrainian army bravely resists unprovoked Russian aggression on the several thousand kilometers of frontlines.

However, even in such circumstances, FAVBET and Kyiv-based creative agency Taktika found a way to engage Ukrainian fans and remind the world that football is not only about fighting, but also about unity and support that goes beyond the borders.

“The world will not see our team on Qatar’s football pitches, but for almost a year it has been watching our fight on a pitch of a different kind – the battlefield. And not only watching, but tirelessly supporting. England, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, the USA, France and many other countries have been supplying and training the Ukrainian military, providing shelter to our citizens and defending our interests on the diplomatic front. We decided that the World Cup is a great opportunity to say thank you to Ukraine’s allies for this unwavering support,” says FAVBET’s creative copywriter Mykola Bezkrovnyi.

The campaign is based on short videos shot on the streets of Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv. The centerpiece of the story are the Ukrainian fans with vintage scarves, which, many years ago, they waved during the matches of Ukraine’s team against our current allies. “We once held these scarves because we fiercely wanted to defeat you. We hold them now because we sincerely want you to win. Just like you want us to win too,” says the voiceover of the campaign’s manifesto.

This campaign was Favbet’s idea, and our task was to find the best form and style for it. We realized that we once used to be opponents on the football pitch with almost all of our current allies. Now, the scarves from these matches are turning from symbols of our rivalry into those of unity. Many fans still have them at home as a memory. We decided to use thescarves as a powerful visual symbol and built a campaign around them,” says Roman Gurbanov, Taktika co-founder and creative director.

In addition to the manifesto, the campaign also includes videos dedicated to supporting particular Ukrainian allies like Poland and England. The videos were shot by Ukraine-based studio Digital Religion known for their advertising work for the world’s leading brands like Samsung, Visa, Pepsi, Uber, and others. Check out the videos on FAVBET’s YouTube:

Support those who support us

FAVBET’s new campaign is not only a token of gratitude to the allies, but also a reminder that the war, unlike a football match, does not end with the referee’s whistle. While the World Cup will wrap up in a few weeks, Ukraine will continue its fight against the aggressor that seeks to destroy Ukrainian identity and its need for support will remain as high as ever. That is why FAVBET Foundation is now accepting international donations so that football fans from all over the world can also contribute to Ukraine’s victory. Make your donation on the Foundation’s official page

As an international company with Ukrainian roots, FAVBET has been supporting Ukraine since the first days of Russia’s full-scale invasion, implementing numerous humanitarian initiatives and providing the Ukrainian military with the necessary equipment. Today, 95% of FAVBET Foundation’s projects are focused on helping the country’s citizens and the army, i. e. evacuating residents of frontline cities, purchasing ambulances and vehicles for the needs of the Armed Forces, as well as supplying high-tech communications equipment and drones.

Credentials

FAVBET

Head of Brand – Alexander Tarasov

Brand Manager – Anna Lytvynchuk

Marketing Project Manager – Yanina Baranetska

Creative Producer – Oleksii Marakhovskyi

Digital Content Producer – Iryna Kondratyeva

Creative Lead – Anatoly Simachynskyi

Creative Copywriter – Mykola Bezkrovnyi

Digital Religion

Director – Gleb Feldman

Taktika

Creative Director – Roman Gurbanov

Art Director – Illia Pochkun

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World Esports Championships Finals Begin with Spectacular Opening Ceremony

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IESF welcomes World Esports Family to Bali for the largest edition of its flagship event

The International Esports Federation (IESF) officially opened the 14th World Esports Championships Finals today in Bali, Indonesia. The Opening Ceremony kicked off IESF’s historic WE Championships with an athlete parade, special performances, and speeches from IESF President Vlad Marinescu and Esports Federation of Indonesia (PBESI) President Budi Gunawan at the Merusaka Nusa Dua Hotel. 

The ceremony welcomed athletes, referees, fans, event organizers, government officials, and others from the World Esports Family. The ceremony began with the Indonesia Raya, the national anthem of Indonesia, and the official PBESI march. IESF then did an official raising of its flag to mark the start of the event. Inspired by Indonesian and Balinese culture, the ceremony featured traditional dances as well as extraordinary performances by Indonesian artists Alffy Rev, Wizzy, and Ecko.

The WE Championships remain the sole international esports competition where athletes compete to represent their countries. Over 600 players representing 106 countries will compete across six games: CS:GO, Dota 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, eFootball ™  2023, Tekken 7, and PUBG Mobile, making this the largest and most geographically diverse edition of the event since its inception in 2008 with a record prize pool of $500,000. 

An athlete representative from each country joined in the athlete parade of the Opening Ceremony to carry their country’s flag to celebrate the event’s largest and most inclusive edition. Additionally, IESF showcased its commitment to responsible gaming and providing referees with the highest level of certification to ensure fair and safe competition. This year’s referees took an oath on stage during the Opening Ceremony, alongside an athlete representative, to safeguard responsible gaming. 

IESF President Vlad Marinescu spoke at the ceremony and said: “Welcome to Bali for the 2022 World Esports Championships Finals. We are elated to see a historic 106 countries, more than double from last year’s edition, competing in the 14th edition of this event right here in the Land of Gods.  All of you here in this beautiful country and those watching are proof and reflection of the growth and progress of the World Esports Family.”

In his speech, PBESI President Budi Gunawan said: “The Indonesia Esports Summit and the 14th IESF World Esports Championships, wil declare our commitment to set new standards for organizing world class esports event. We sincerely hope that the 14th IESF World Esports Championships Bali 2022 will be a new momentum for all these great talents from around the world to build friendship and peace” 

The competition will conclude with the Closing Ceremony and a special announcement on December 11, where one nation will be crowned the World Esports champion. 

The Finals will be live-streamed across seven IESF Twitch channels, one dedicated for each game. The full lineup of competing nations and all other information related to WEC can be found on the official website

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SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator Announced New Campaign with Spinago

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Online jackpot campaigns are becoming extremely popular in the iGaming community as a powerful tool to attract and retain players and improve overall brand performance. This trend is all the more reinforced by the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator’s new cooperation with Spinago, as the two partners launch a worldwide jackpot campaign.

Spinago has been operating under a Curacao license since 2020, managing a varied game and sports betting portfolio. The operator accepts deposits in fiat and cryptocurrencies and provides 24/7 player support.  

In partnership with the Jackpot Aggregator, Spinago has launched its first jackpot campaign with three independent levels: Standart, Mega, and Grand. Each level offers unique progressive money prizes, with a maximum reward of 80,000 AUD to a lucky player. The jackpot campaign has no wager. Players might bet in slots and live games with a minimum bet of 1.5 AUD. There are no restrictions on the number of bets, same as there are no limits on raffled hits. 

Besides setting up the promotional campaign, the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator provides end-to-end support to ensure a smooth and seamless user experience. 

Reflecting on the collaboration, the Spinago team notes: “We appreciate working with the software provider who offers not only a flexibly configurable product but also reliable support. The team behind the Jackpot Aggregator managed to quickly set up the campaign and settle all the details with us, taking into account our goals and requirements.”

Aliaskei Douhin, Head of SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator, shares his thoughts about the partnership: “We are proud to see an increasing number of iGaming operators who elect to use our product as a driver of growth and scaling. The Jackpot Aggregator team is grateful to Spinago for the trust and opportunity to show how this jackpot campaign will attract new players and reactivate existing ones.”

The SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator offers a unique, multi-purpose Jackpot as a Service (JaaS) business model to strengthen brand performance and boost player acquisition and retention. 

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