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Better Collective increases organic revenue by 29 percent; strong growth across US assets and media partnerships

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Better Collective reflects on the initiatives from the ongoing UK Gambling Act review and expects limited to no financial impact
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Interim report January 1 – September 30, 2021

Highlights third quarter 2021

  • Group Revenue grew by 148% to 45,413 tEUR (Q3 2020: 18,298 tEUR). Organic revenue growth was 29%. September reached a new monthly revenue record of 20,285 tEUR, equal to 45% of the total quarterly revenue.
    • The quarter showed strong underlying growth on all major KPIs, however, revenue was impacted downwards by very low sports win margins in July and August. The sports win margins were negatively affected by larger operators accelerating marketing campaigns (free-bets, retention-bonuses etc.), as well as continued strong NDC performance, where new depositors receive sign-up bonuses.
    • The US business performed strongly with Q3 2021 revenue of >5x compared to Q3 2020 revenue. Revenue for September jumped to 8.9 mEUR (>10 mUSD) reflecting a strong start of the high season for US sports and the state of Arizona opening for online sports betting. Strong performance across all US assets including the newly acquired Action Network.
    • In Germany, a long-awaited new gambling regulation came into force from July 1. The market development has been in line with our expectations; for Better Collective, September revenue from the German market was on par with the monthly average in H1. Based on the current performance in Germany, revenue for the full year 2021 is expected to exceed prior years 2019 and 2020, respectively, with expected continued revenue growth in 2022.
    • Media partnerships continued with strong performance with almost 45,000 NDCs. More media partnerships are expected to be established in various countries.
  • Group EBITDA before special items increased 63% to 13,583 tEUR (Q3 2020: 8,326 tEUR). The EBITDA-margin before special items was 30% (Publishing 40% and Paid Media 9%).
  • Special Items in Q3 2021 amounted to a cost of 11,588 tEUR vs. an income of 44 tEUR in Q3 2020. It includes an 11,487 tEUR adjustment of the contingent liability related to the 2019 acquisition of Rical LLC, treated as a P/L item under IFRS.
  • EBITDA after special items amounted to 1,995 tEUR, a decrease of 6,375 tEUR vs. 8,370 tEUR in Q3 2020.
  • Cash Flow from operations before special items was 10,498 tEUR (Q3 2020: 8,359 tEUR), an increase of 26%. The cash conversion was 76%, and was impacted by a significant increase in revenue for September vs. June driving increased trade receivables from Q2 2021. End of Q3, capital reserves stood at 64.1 mEUR including cash of 35.4 mEUR and unused bank credit facilities of 28.7 mEUR.
  • New Depositing Customers (NDCs) were >200,000 in the quarter with an implied growth of 110% and a new quarterly record despite July and August being the low season for major sports.
  • Better Collective acquired Soccernews.nl and Voetbalwedden.net for total 5.9 mEUR upfront payments plus deferred and earn-out payments of up to 3.75 mEUR, to gain a leading position in the newly regulated Dutch online sports betting market.
  • Better Collective resolved on a directed share issue of 6.9 million shares, raising proceeds of 145 mEUR to maintain financial flexibility.
  • For the fourth consecutive year, Better Collective topped the prestigious EGR Global’s Power Affiliates 2021 ranking.

Financial highlights first nine months 2021

  • In the first nine months of 2021, revenue grew by 128% to 124,257 tEUR (YTD 2020: 54,472 tEUR).
  • In the first nine months of 2021, EBITDA before special items increased 64% to 39,439 tEUR (YTD 2020: 24,044 tEUR). The EBITDA-margin before special items was 32%.
  • Special Items amounted to a cost of 17,006 tEUR vs. an income of 252 tEUR YTD 2020. It includes an 11,487 tEUR adjustment of the contingent liability related to the 2019 acquisition of Rical LLC, treated as a P/L item under IFRS, in addition to 5,784 tEUR related to M&A transactions, primarily the acquisition of Action Network in May, 2021.
  • EBITDA after special items amounted to 22,433 tEUR YTD, a decrease of 1,863 tEUR vs. 24,296 tEUR YTD 2020.
  • Cash Flow from operations before special items was 37,670 tEUR (YTD 2020: 28,173 tEUR), an increase of 34%. The cash conversion rate before special items was 97%. End of Q3 2021, cash and unused credit facilities amounted to 64.1 mEUR.
  • New Depositing Customers exceeded 575,000 in the first nine months of 2021 (growth of 103%).
  • Better Collective acquired leading US sports betting media platform, Action Network, for 196 mEUR (240 mUSD), gaining market leadership within sports betting media in the US.
  • On May 26, 2021, the Board of Directors resolved on a directed share issue of 6.9 million shares, raising proceeds of 145 mEUR to maintain financial flexibility.

Significant events after the closure of the period

  • October revenue reached 16.8 mEUR, with organic growth of 17% and a total growth of 34% vs. last year. The growth is achieved despite an all time low sports win margin in October.
  • On November 4, the completion of the acquisition of the remaining 40% of Rotogrinders Network was announced. Since the initial share acquisition Rotogrinders has shown strong performance with expected 2021 revenue more than doubling since 2019, with a 47% compound annual growth rate. Expected 2021 EBITDA is 4.4x higher than 2019, growing at a 109% compound annual growth rate.
  • In the state of New York, nine operators were recently awarded sports betting licenses. Projected to become the single largest online betting market in the US, New York presents a big opportunity for Better Collective and for our operator partners now licensed. Betting is expected to commence in January 2022, in time for the Super Bowl.
  • Better Collective received an award for its efforts within compliance at the Vixio Global Regulatory Award. At the same show, Better Collective’s subsidiary, Mindway AI, received two awards for its efforts within responsible gambling.

Financial targets
The full-year financial targets for 2021 for the group remain unchanged. Growth in the Publishing business exceeds prior expectations whereas Paid Media sees lower growth than anticipated, which is reflected in an adjustment of the detailed segment targets.

Jesper Søgaard, Co-founder & CEO of Better Collective, commented:
Q3 was a great quarter closing with an all time high monthly revenue in September. This was partially the result of strong performance across all our US assets, including our recent acquisition, Action Network. September was also the beginning of the high season for US sports, which is expected to fully materialise in the Q4 results. “

Conference call
A telephone conference will be held at 10.00 a.m. CET today by CEO Jesper Søgaard and CFO Flemming Pedersen. The presentation will simultaneously be webcasted, and both the telephone conference and the webcast offer an opportunity to ask questions.

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Gaming Innovation Group – Mandatory notification of trade

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Gaming Innovation Group – Minutes from Annual Meeting of Shareholders
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Mikael Riese Harstad, Chairman of the Board and primary insider of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.

(GiG), has today transferred 864,403 shares in GiG to a life insurance policy with SEB Life International Assurance Company DAC with himself as the sole policy holder.

In addition, Helena Riese Harstad, a close associate of Mikael Riese Harstad, has today transferred 477,733 shares in GiG to a life insurance policy with SEB Life International Assurance Company DAC with herself as the sole policy holder.

After these transactions, Harstad and close associates owns no shares directly, but hold 1,342,136 shares through life insurance policies with SEB Life International Assurance Company DAC.

For further information, contact:
Tore Formo, Group CFO, [email protected] +47 916 68 678

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to Section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.

 

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Clarion Gaming and ExCeL London plan for the migration of iGB L!VE 2025 to the heart of igaming

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Clarion Gaming is advancing preparations for the migration of iGB L!VE to London in July 2025 establishing a roadmap of activities in partnership with the senior team at ExCeL London which will host the leading global event.

The latest meeting between the two organisations featured:

  • iGB L!VE Portfolio Director Naomi Barton,
  • Clarion Gaming Managing Director Stuart Hunter,
  • Head of Operations Richard Logan and
  • Head of Marketing Jody Frost with the senior team from ExCeL led by the venue’s
  • Chief Commercial Officer Simon Mills.

Expanding on the meeting Naomi Barton said: “This was the second senior level planning meeting that we have held with our colleagues at ExCeL London in order to move the home of the igaming community to a city which is the heart of the igaming industry in a country which is igaming’s largest market.

“The roadmap is being created in order to anticipate industry needs, address pain points and to exceed the expectations of customers. The migration of what is already a top performing Tier One igaming event is set against the backdrop of iGB L!VE’s 5-year growth plan which is focused on delivering 35,000 visitors and over 550 exhibitors and sponsors by 2029.

“Our vision is to harness the tremendous momentum created by the iGB L!VE brand and to take the event to a whole new level in a new venue, and a new exceptionally well-connected global home in the city of London.

“ExCeL London has a fantastic track record of helping events to fulfil their potential, and all of the building blocks are in place for iGB L!VE and its customers to accelerate their businesses to new heights in London.

She added: “Placing our customers at the heart of everything that we do is central plank to the iGB L!VE growth strategy, and the roadmap for 2025 is underpinned by a clear customer-focused programme that will ensure maximum cost-effectiveness as well as global growth for all of our stakeholders.

“We will be using July’s edition of iGB L!VE not only to reflect and celebrate our time in Amsterdam and say thank you to our fantastic partners for many years RAI Amsterdam, but also enable our vendors and customers to secure their presence at ExCeL London in 2025.”

 

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Paf’s results for 2023

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The Nordic gaming company Paf’s annual report for 2023 shows that it has been a good year which means a good sum of Paf funds for society. Paf’s published customer segments show more sustainable revenue in the past year. The Paf board gets a new member.

The Paf Group’s revenue for 2023 increased from €165.7 million to €177.1 million, an increase of 7%. The growth in revenue results in an increase in profit from €44.8 million to €55.1 million, which is a record for Paf.

“We can be happy and proud with the past year. We have gained a larger customer base and the number of active customers has increased by 27%, which explains some of it, but we are also well aware that the temporarily low gaming taxes in Finland have helped the result,” says Christer Fahlstedt, CEO.

Paf’s result is the best result in Paf’s 57-year history and an increase of 23% compared to the previous year. However, gaming taxes in a number of countries will be increased in 2024, which will create different conditions going forward. In Finland, the temporary reduction of the lottery tax has increased from 5% to 12%, in Sweden the gambling tax will increase from 18% to 22%, in Estonia from 5% to 6% and in Latvia from 10% to 12%.

“The trend of increasing gaming taxes will continue, and we expect to see more much-needed demands for increased responsible gaming measures. The changes will result in reduced profitability and many operators will find it more difficult. But Paf is well prepared for the times ahead,” says Christer Fahlstedt.

31.4 million euros in Paf funds
The annual distribution of Paf funds will be €31.4 million. Paf funds are used for the benefit of society, including a number of third sector organisations that work to promote society in social activities, culture, youth work, sports, environmental activities and more.

“It’s undeniably great that Paf is achieving a great result, allowing us to distribute a total of €31.4 million in the form of Paf funds. The employees have done a phenomenal job over the past year, and the Board would like to thank all Paf employees who have made this possible,” says Jan-Mikael von Schantz, Chairman of the Paf Board.

Sustainable entertainment
In 2023, Paf chose to invest heavily in responsible gaming, and the loss limit for all customers was lowered to EUR 17,500 per year. In addition, in spring 2023, Paf introduced a specific loss limit for young players aged 18–19, €1,800 per year. In spring 2024, Paf chose to lower the loss limit for young people aged 20–24. Young people of that age already had a lower loss limit at Paf but it was further reduced from €10,000 to €8,000 per year.

“This is an important continuation of the direction we are striving to take at Paf for our responsible gaming. Now young customers can only gamble with us for sums that are at more sustainable levels and within the framework of the customer segment we have defined ourselves as the green segment,” says Christer Fahlstedt.

Paf’s customer segments 2017–2023
The published table shows the development of gaming in different customer segments from 2017 until 2023. The red segment for customers who have lost more than €30,000 in one year is at zero in recent years, as Paf’s loss limits stop large losses. The white segment shows the number of players who ended the year in profit.

“It is encouraging to see that we have once again increased the green revenues with more sustainable revenues by a full 7.6%. It is possible to change an outdated business model in the industry and we will continue our strive to be a gaming company that provides sustainable entertainment in everyday life,” says Christer Fahlstedt.

The figures for Paf’s customer segments have been reviewed by auditors as part of the audit of the financial statements.

“Our published and open customer segments show what our investments in responsible gaming measures have achieved over the years. The publication gives credibility to our efforts at a level that no other gaming company has been able to show,” says Christer Fahlstedt.

Daniela Forsgård new on the board
Paf gets a new board member when Daniela Forsgård takes a seat on the board. At the same time, Birgitta Eriksson is stepping down after many years on Paf’s board.

“I really want to thank Birgitta for the solid contribution she has made to Paf’s Board over the years.”

“Daniela Forsgård’s merit-based knowledge of finance, combined with the international experience she possesses, will fit in well with the Board. In addition, Daniela has personal experience of Paf as she previously worked at Paf,” says Jan-Mikael von Schantz.

The Paf Board now consists of Chairman Jan-Mikael von Schantz, Board members Gunnar Westerlund, Denise Johansson, Roger Nordlund and Daniela Forsgård.

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