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Evolution Publishes Interim Report for the First Quarter of 2022

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Gambling technology supplier Evolution AB has published its interim report for the first quarter of 2022.

Highlights

  • Operating revenues increased by 38.6% to EUR 326.8 million (235.8)
  • EBITDA increased by 43.4% to EUR 229.7 million (160.1), corresponding to a margin of 70.3% (67.9)
  • Profit for the period amounted to EUR 197.7 million (132.0)
  • Earnings per share before dilution amounted to EUR 0.93 (0.62)

Events During the First Quarter of 2022

  • In the quarter, 747,000 own shares were acquired. A total of 1,905,865 shares have been acquired and the repurchase programme, announced on 3 December 2021, is thereby completed.
  • Launch of Lightning Roulette in New Jersey with other states to follow.
  • After the end of the period, Evolution went live with an extensive set of online casino services for multiple operators in the new regulated online gaming market in Ontario, Canada.
  • After the end of the period, the first tables are live in our new Madrid studio.

CEO’s Comments

“I’m very happy to see the great work of all Evolution employees producing yet another strong quarter. We continued the strong development from 2021 also during the first quarter of this year. Revenues in the quarter increased by 38.6 percent to EUR 326.8 million, supported by continued strong demand for Live Casino, and the EBITDA increased to EUR 229.7 million, which corresponds to an EBITDA margin of 70.3 percent.

Looking back at the start of this year the developments outside of Evolution are very much in my thoughts. Even though we were happy to see the effects of the pandemic slowly subsiding in Europe and North America during the quarter our attention moved to the war and the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine created by the unprovoked invasion from Russia. At the start of the war Evolution had approximately 100 co-workers based in Kyiv. As for now, the war has limited direct financial impact on our business but emotionally it has affected us all. We will naturally continue to follow the development closely.

The first quarter for Live Casino has started very well with good momentum on most metrics resulting in a strong growth of 44.0 percent. We experienced exceptional growth in the first half of 2021 so the comparable figures are demanding. 2022 has started very well and the entertainment and excitement that Live games offer continues to drive new as well as existing customers to our games.

RNG growth of 1.8 percent year on year pro-forma is in line with our expectations. While structural efforts, such as the One Stop Shop and other cross sales activities are important elements, at the end of the day the key for improved growth is developing great games to all players. End-user satisfaction is always key and taking us there is not done overnight. The road to success will not be straight-lined but the focus and ambition is clear and I’m convinced that we will reach our growth ambitions over time.

The EBITDA margin of 70.3 percent is a step up from the same period last year and within our guidance of 69-71 percent for 2022. I’m happy with this delivery during Q1, especially considering the situation in the world with general cost increases not only relating to transport and energy. Looking ahead we see that the guidance of 69-71 percent EBITDA margin remains.

For us at Evolution, launching new games is what we live for. Creating new fantastic end-user experiences and simply put – to innovate! New games build loyalty among our existing players, introduce existing players to new games they have not played before and attract completely new categories of players. In Q1 we launched Bac Bo, a unique dice game which combines elements of the classic games Baccarat and Sic Bo. We also released Peek Baccarat which is another version of the classic Baccarat. In the quarter we also introduced new RNG titles such as Narcos Mexico and Knight Rider, as well as home grown brands like Doggy Riches Megaways and Zillard King. During the remaining part of the year, we have a very strong line up of new games both in RNG as well as in Live – a very exciting time indeed.

There is a continued strong demand for online casino across the globe. In North America we continue to expand all our studios, with Connecticut as the next studio to be launched during 2022. In Asia we also continue to experience good growth, while the more mature European markets are, in general, in slower growth mode – some due to regulatory changes affecting operators. However, we still see growth opportunities in Europe. LatAm also offers good potential going forward and continues to develop with several markets in discussions regarding regulation of their market for online gaming.

As I write this we are in the final preparations of Go-Live in our new studio in Madrid and as you read this the first tables are just opening! Also, we are moving closer to open our Yerevan studio to add even more capacity to the Evolution network. A lesson learned during the pandemic years is to not be too dependent on any one studio. Today we can efficiently allocate our resources within our network of fifteen studios and shift resources from one site to another when needed, without any impact on our delivery capacity. As we add studios to the network this becomes even more of a strength benefiting our operators. As earlier communicated, we expect total investments in new studios to increase also in 2022.

We are well on our way into 2022, leaving the first quarter with good delivery and momentum. We strive to be better every single day, every single one of us, and we fight every day to increase the gap to our competitors. With our 88 new games 2022 we have shown what thousands and thousands of fantastic Evolution employees can achieve together. Evolution is a workplace where everyone is accepted and respected. Together, we hope for a brighter end of 2022 than the beginning.”

Industry News

Betsoft Gaming Signs Partnership Deal with Simsino

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Betsoft Gaming has signed a partnership deal with Simsino, iGG’s newly launched casino brand.

The MGA licenced casino – simsino.com – will host Betsoft’s portfolio of table games and award-winning slots. Latest releases Alkemor’s Elements and the anime themed Kensei Blades, alongside classic hits The Slotfather and Weekend in Vegas are already available to play.

In order to further enhance gameplay, Betsoft launched its first promotional product, Take the Prize, earlier this year. The promotional tool will significantly add to the overall player experience by offering a random fortune wheel with cash prizes or bonuses in any of Betsoft’s qualifying games throughout any promotion.

Simsino has been designed to appeal to a younger player base looking for exciting promotions and fast, immersive gameplay. A generous Welcome Bonus and a unique “Simsino Cashback” feature are available as part of the Simsino loyalty programme. Furthermore, the easy-to-navigate site offers a streamlined user experience to take players straight to the games and promotions they want.

Anna Mackney, Head of Account Management at Betsoft Gaming, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Simsino as they are a young and innovative brand. Betsoft has a diverse portfolio which appeals across many demographics and we anticipate a successful relationship with Simsino.”

John Foster, Head of Games & Aggregation Manager, iGG WhiteLabels, said: “Great content is a significant driver of customer traffic and so a provider of Betsoft’s calibre is essential for simsino.com and other iGG WhiteLabels. We look forward to seeing this partnership enhance players’ engagement with the brand.”

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Industry News

Entain Appoints Rahul Welde as Independent Non-Executive Director

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Entain plc, the leading global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group, announced the appointment of Rahul Welde as an independent Non-Executive Director. The appointment will take effect from 1 July 2022.

Rahul was most recently Executive Vice President of Global Digital Transformation at Unilever plc where he drove digital strategies for the Unilever brands. He is an Indian national and brings over 30 years’ experience in the global fast-moving consumer goods sector. On appointment, Rahul will become a member of the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Committee.

“On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to welcome Rahul to Entain. Rahul brings with him exceptional knowledge of customer experience excellence, ecommerce and digital transformation. I am confident that his skills and expertise will further enhance the Board’s ability to support and oversee the delivery of our strategy,” Barry Gibson, Chairman of Entain, said.

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Industry News

EM Group Joins Dutch Online Gambling Association

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The Dutch Online Gambling Association (NOGA) has welcomed EM Group as the newest member of the trade association.

The move comes as NOGA works to unite industry figures “under one flag” and to represent the industry’s collective interests as a whole.

The organisation has laid out some of its primary objectives, with two major goals being guarantees of consumer protection and the advocation of responsible gambling. NOGA hopes to achieve these through forging new partnerships and alliances with other key industry figures.

NOGA Director Peter-Paul de Goeij says the partnership has given NOGA a major boost, and that “EM Group also endorses NOGA’s core values ​​and objectives, and helps to achieve and defend them.”

He went on to describe how EM Group’s 15 years of international experience “is a great added value for us, and it also offers a wealth of additional expertise and experience that can only benefit the members of NOGA and the wider industry.”

EM Group MD Kees-Jan Avis said: “From EM Group we are very pleased to be part of the NOGA family.”

In describing NOGA and EM Group’s common goals, he said: “Think, for example, of the objectives and core values ​​with regard to the integrity and social responsibility of the sector.

“NOGA also endorses this and that is why we enter into the collaboration with great conviction and confidence. Our goal is to make a joint contribution to the online gambling market in the Netherlands and beyond.”

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