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LeoVegas AB Q4: Quarterly report 1 October – 31 December 2019. LeoVegas reiterates its long-term financial targets, remove short term financial targets and raises the dividend

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LeoVegas exercises authorisation for share repurchases
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“We have entered 2020 with good underlying growth and profitability, and an ever-stronger balance sheet”
– Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO

FOURTH QUARTER 2019: 1 october–31 december 2019[1]

  • Revenue increased by 3% to EUR 87.1 m (84.5).
  • EBITDA was EUR 14.5 m (8.1), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 16.7% (9.6%)
  • Adjusted EBITDA was EUR 9.2 m (8.1), corresponding to a margin of 10.6% (9.6%).
  • The number of depositing customers was 351,613 (327,156), an increase of 7%.
  • The number of returning depositing customers was record-high 207,982 (181,747), an increase of 14%.
  • Adjusted earnings per share were EUR 0.06 (0.06).

Events during the quarter

  • LeoVegas investment company LeoVentures sold the subsidiary Authentic Gaming to Genting. The sales price was EUR 15.2 m on a debt-free basis and generated a capital gain of EUR 11.4 m.
  • LeoVegas carried out strategic measures in the UK and has called off a move to new offices in Malta. These initiatives will lead to annual cost savings of approximately EUR 3.7 m. Restructuring costs of EUR 6.1 m are reported under items affecting comparability for the fourth quarter. At the same time, an impairment loss of EUR 10.2 m has been recognised for the Royal Panda investment.

Events after the end of the quarter

  • Preliminary revenue of EUR 30,1 m in January (28.7), representing growth of 5%.
  • In light of a more pronounced focus on profitability in an increasingly dynamic business environment LeoVegas has decided to remove the financial targets to reach sales of EUR 600 m and EBITDA of EUR 100 m by 2021. At the same time, the company has reaffirmed its long-term financial target to achieve organic growth that outperforms the online gaming market and an EBITDA margin of no less than 15%.
  • LeoVegas’ Chairman, Mårten Forste, hired as new COO in Malta.
  • The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of SEK 1.40 per share (1.20), an increase of 17%, to be paid out – as in the preceding year – on two occasions during the year.

 

COMMENT FROM GUSTAF HAGMAN – GROUP CEO

sustainability and long-term growth
During 2019 we worked hard to reduce complexity in the Group, be more efficient and adapt to the changes taking place in the gaming industry. In parallel with this we have enhanced the attraction of our product through new functionality and greater personalisation. We have launched new brands, focused more on Casino, and expanded to new markets. Towards the end of the year we intensified the integration of our previous acquisitions, which is expected to contribute to cost savings and increased economies of scale.

Our investments in sustainability have been particularly meaningful, where LeoVegas is one of the leading operators. For example, today we have some 70 employees who work exclusively with responsible gaming and compliance.

an industry in change
2019 was a year characterised by change in our industry, with external challenges coupled to higher demands for compliance, higher gambling taxes and undertainty surrounding future regulation. In the near term this is presenting challenges to navigate in an increasingly complex world, but it also presents long term competitive advantages for a company like LeoVegas, which has a scalable organisation, proprietary technology and focus on sustainable growth along with an increasingly broader revenue base spread across several markets and brands.

We have entered 2020 with a good starting point, with an increasingly efficient organisation and many ongoing initiatives surrounding product innovation and brand expansion. Owing to the increasingly dynamic business environment and a more pronounced focus on profitability, we have decided to remove our financial targets for 2021 while we reiterate our long-term financial targets of organic growth in excess of the market and an EBITDA margin of at least 15%.

At the same time, our underlying profitable growth and favourable financial position have created the foundation for the Board’s proposal to raise the dividend for 2019 by 17% to SEK 1.40 per share.

fourth quarter 2019
Revenue for the fourth quarter amounted to EUR 87.1 m (84.5), representing organic growth of 3%. Growth during the period remained good in most of our markets. Excluding the UK market, organic growth in local currencies was 11%. We are especially pleased with our performance in Sweden, where we continue to take market shares.

EBITDA for the fourth quarter adjusted for items affecting comparability during the period totalled EUR 9.2 m (8.1), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 10.6% (9.6%). We thereby improved our underlying profit by 13% compared with a year ago despite a higher burden from gambling taxes and increased regulatory complexity, which confirms that our focus on efficiency and cost control is yielding the desired result.

A couple of weeks ago we communicated a number of strategic decisions coupled mainly to the UK and our ambitions to create a less complex and more scalable organisation. These initiatives gave rise to one-off restructuring costs that affected fourth quarter earnings by a total of EUR 6.1 m and are expected to lead to annual cost savings of approximately EUR 3.7 m. The savings consist mainly of platform and product costs, a more efficient organisation and more optimized premises.

During the fourth quarter we recognised a capital gain on the sale of Authentic Gaming, which was sold in October. The capital gain was EUR 11.4 m. EBIT for the fourth quarter was also affected by an impairment loss of EUR 10.2 m related to goodwill in Royal Panda.

markets
We had favourable performance in most of our markets during the full year 2019. Three of our major markets, Sweden, the UK and Germany, underwent major changes during the past year. In Germany, the removal of a key payment services provider affected our revenue during the fourth quarter. Development improved gradually during the quarter in pace with customers finding alternative payment methods. We are now growing again sequentially month-on-month in Germany. We are confidently waiting for clarity regarding what future regulation will look like in Germany. Based on the most recent information, the German federal states are now in agreement to regulate the market at the national level at the end of 2021.

As previously communicated, we are addressing the challenges in the UK by migrating all of our brands in the UK to our proprietary technical platform. In parallel with this we are refining our brand portfolio and closing Royal Panda in the UK. Altogether these measures are leading to a more focused and efficient operation and opening up economies of scale within the Group. Revenue for the remaining operations in the UK, consisting of 13 brands, grew 15% over the third quarter and showed good profitability. Royal Panda will now focus entirely on fast-growing markets outside the UK.

In the Swedish market we are stronger than ever. It is clear that we are benefiting from our strong brand, focus on responsible gaming and experience from regulated markets. In addition, GoGoCasino has exceeded our expectations and was successful in the strategy of filling an empty space in the Swedish casino market. December was record-strong and we ended the year with revenue as well as the number of customers at record high levels. During 2020 we expect to see the authorities taking a harder line against unlicensed actors, which will improve channelisation and consumer protection in the Swedish market.

Comments on first quarter 2020
Revenue for the month of January amounted to EUR 30.1 m (28.7), representing growth of 5%.

Royal Panda in the UK, which was closed in January, is not expected to generate any significant revenue during the first quarter. During the fourth quarter Royal Panda generated revenue of EUR 1.1 m in the UK.

With good momentum in many of our markets and a number of growth initiatives, we are looking forward to the remainder of 2020. We continue to work hard to deliver profitable growth at the same time as we are working to live up to our vision, 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: 9682129 or join at the web https://edge.media-server.com/mmc/p/g9y6w2q8

Affiliate Industry

PartnerMatrix and SlotsCalendar sign partnership to raise security awareness

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PartnerMatrix and SlotsCalendar sign partnership to raise security awareness
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Affiliate marketing software provider, PartnerMatrix, and SlotsCalendar, the IMDb of online slots, have just signed a partnership, raising awareness about the tools operators and affiliates can use to create a more secure environment.

PartnerMatrix and SlotsCalendar will launch various marketing initiatives, covering topics such as security in affiliate marketing, player orientation in affiliate marketing, the latest tools and techniques in enlarging affiliate presence, and more. The partnership will allow both teams to initiate marketing campaigns, reach new audiences and promote affiliate solutions.

Levon Nikoghosyan, CEO of PartnerMatrix, says: “This partnership holds great importance because it allows us to raise awareness of important topics. We remember how SlotsCalendar entered the market a few years ago and seeing the company reaching such high ranks in affiliate marketing is very motivating. The SlotsCalendar team continues putting tremendous efforts into creating a robust network of iGaming enthusiasts and business representatives, and thanks to this, they have a bright future ahead of them.

“However, SlotsCalendar doesn’t hold interest only for players- many big casino operators and B2B companies are very interested in appearing in the SlotsCalendar’s directories. For PartnerMatrix, this is an excellent chance to create a dialogue within a quality audience and promote our tools and solutions to a bigger audience.”

Viorel Stan, CEO of SlotsCalendar, comments: “The lack of active dialogue on specific topics has led to the vulnerability of some niches. We deal with numerous risks daily, and as soon as we figure out how to deal with some challenges and get used to them, other issues appear. Our partnership with PartnerMatrix will create a more dynamic platform for solving problems related to security, payments, transparency in doing business.

“We will continue to raise important topics and share the experiences of both of our companies. I am sure that our cooperation will bear fruit not only for both of our companies but also for many other industry players.”

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Affiliate Industry

Mr Gamble and PartnerMatrix join forces

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Mr Gamble and PartnerMatrix join forces
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Market leading affiliate and EveryMatrix’s affiliate solution provider will work together to identify, highlight and overcome issues between affiliates and their operator partners

 Mr Gamble, the leading online casino and sportsbook comparison site operated by CashMagnet Limited, has entered into a breakthrough media partnership with PartnerMatrix that will foster closer collaboration between the two businesses.

Under the deal, Mr Gamble will add all of PartnerMatrix’s casino brands to its site and then prioritise the upload of any new brands moving forwards. Today, Mr Gamble has more than 27 PartnerMatrix casinos and a total of 930 casinos listed on its site with new brands added each week.

Mr Gamble and PartnerMatrix – the affiliate solution of tier one B2B provider EveryMatrix – will also work together to identify, highlight and overcome issues that can arise between affiliates and their operator partners, and drive awareness of these across the wider industry.

This includes concerns around security and transparency and in particular relating to the platforms and back offices that affiliates use to track clicks, FTDs and revenues. PartnerMatrix has developed an Anti-Fraud Intelligence tool to assist with this.

Mr Gamble and PartnerMatrix will also discuss these issues and challenges across a series of articles that will be posted on the PartnerMatrix website and published across the B2B iGaming media.

Silver Portugov, Chief Business Officer at Mr Gamble, said: “A major factor in the success of an online casino affiliate is the brands that they recommend to their players – they must be reputable and offer an unrivalled experience and that is certainly the case when it comes to PartnerMatrix.

“But we wanted to take our relationship to the next level by identifying some of the issues encountered between affiliates and operators and then work together on how they can be overcome. Of course, we wish to share these learnings with the wider industry.”

Levon Nikoghosyan, CEO of PartnerMatrix, added: “Mr Gamble is one of our top affiliate partners so we wanted to strengthen this relationship for the benefit of both businesses as well as the online casino brands that use our solution.

“We are also looking forward to working closely with the Mr Gamble team when it comes to tackling issues around security and transparency, as well as other emerging trends, and to bring these topics to the attention of a much wider audience.”

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Affiliate Industry

Affilka by SOFTSWISS Announces New Partnership with BC.Game

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Affilka by SOFTSWISS Announces New Partnership with BC.Game
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Affilka by SOFTSWISS is pleased to announce the official launch of its affiliate marketing platform on BC.Game. The platform will power the new affiliate marketing program called BC.Game Partner Program

BC.Game completes the list of over 100 companies expanding and promoting their business with the Affilka affiliate marketing platform. This was not the first collaboration project between the two companies. In 2020 BC.Game signed an agreement with the SOFTSWISS Game Aggregator to integrate content from more than 170 providers. At the moment, BC.Game and the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook are also in talks about potential cooperation.

The affiliate marketing platform Affilka by SOFTSWISS offers its clients convenient tools and solutions for business promotion. Easy to integrate and configure, Affilka helps connect the operator and the affiliate. The platform combines all the features required for a successful affiliate program launch and maintenance: from a flexible commission constructor to built-in payment processing.

Anastasia Borovaya, Product Owner of Affilka , commented: “I’m delighted that a large and well-known brandsuch as BC.Game chooses SOFTSWISS products for their development. Affilka was the perfect introduction to SOFTSWISS products and paved the way for BC.Game to further explore the product ecosystem. Our team will convert BC.Game’s trust into the highest level of service and a professional approach to the tasks at hand. It’s always a pleasure to work with clients who know what they want. I’m sure we’ll complement each other perfectly. Welcome to our big family!”

Chris Butler, Head of Operations at BC.Game, comments: “We had our own affiliate system that we built ourselves and it was great for players and friend to friend referrals. However, I knew we needed something that was geared towards the professional iGaming affiliates and was packed with the features that are necessary for our partners to run and manage successful campaigns. I did many demos with other affiliate software providers and platforms. Affilka stood out to me as the best. It was an easy decision to make.”

 

About SOFTSWISS 

SOFTSWISS is an international tech brand supplying widely acclaimed, certified software solutions for managing iGaming operations. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licenses, providing a “one-stop-shop” White Label Solution by taking care of all technical, legal, and financial processes on behalf of its customers. The company has a vast product portfolio, which includes an Online Casino Platform, Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, and a sportsbook software platform. In 2013 SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a bitcoin-optimized online casino solution. The company has thus been regarded as the leading technical expert when it comes to the use of cryptocurrencies in online gaming.

 

About BC.Game

BC.Game is a multi-cryptocurrency casino with Provably Fair traditional crypto games and some unique games as well. BC.Game is a verified operator of the CGF. We are also the first and considered to be the best Lightning Network integrated casino with INSTANT Bitcoin deposits AND withdraws through our Lightning node and LNURL invoicing. We recently added three new provably fair games, Plinko, Video Poker, The Wheel and more titles, like real Provably Fair Slots, are set to be released before the end of 2019.

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