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Betsson Group – strong full-year operating profit thanks to geographical spread and efficient organisation

George Miller

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Betsson Group - strong full-year operating profit thanks to geographical spread and efficient organisation
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

QUARTER OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2019

  • Group revenue was SEK 1,289.5 (1,436.6) million, a decrease of 10 percent with an organic  decrease of 11 percent.
  • Casino revenue declined by 10 percent and Sportsbook revenue declined by 9 percent. The sportsbook margin was 6.8 (7.3) percent.
  • Operating income (EBIT) was SEK 200.5 (341.5) million. The variance was mainly due to decreased revenue. The EBIT margin was 15.5 (23.8) percent.
  • Operating cash flow amounted to SEK 237.8 (289.3) million.

FULL YEAR 2019

  • Group revenue was SEK 5,173.0 (5,419.8) million, a decrease of 5 percent, reported and organic.
  • Operating income (EBIT) was SEK 865.0 (1,193.8) million, corresponding to an operating margin of 16.7 (22.0) percent.
  • Net income was SEK 787.1 (1,078.1) million, corresponding to SEK 5.69 (7.79) per share.
  • Operating cash flow amounted to SEK 1,150.3 (1,273.3) million.
  • The Board of Directors proposes to the AGM that SEK 393.1 (538.4) million, which corresponds to SEK 2.84 (3.89) per share, is distributed to shareholders.

FOURTH QUARTER

Revenue for the fourth quarter was SEK 1,289.5 million, a decrease compared to the same quarter last year but an increase compared to the previous quarter. Development in Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands have continued to be weak, while other markets in which Betsson operates, locally regulated and non-locally regulated, have performed well. The sportsbook margin for the fourth quarter at 6.8 percent is slightly lower than the previous two quarters, which impacted the sportsbook’s revenue for the quarter negatively. Sportsbook gross turnover on the other hand, have developed strongly both during the fourth quarter and the full year 2019, with an increase during the quarter of 15 percent compared with the same period last year and 6 percent for the full year. Operating profit (EBIT) for the fourth quarter amounted to SEK 200.5 million, which corresponds to an operating margin of 15.5 percent.

CEO COMMENTS

2019 full-year operating profit of SEK 865 million shows that  Betsson can deliver despite several market challanges

“We are proud to present an operating profit for the full year 2019 of SEK 865 million. The operating profit shows Betsson’s ability to deliver profitability, also during the challenges that 2019 entailed. We had expected some recovery in the closing fourth quarter, above all in the Swedish market, but we did not reach our objectives there. Up until now, one year after the Swedish re-regulation, we have still not seen the market consolidation that we expect due to the great number of operators, many of them showing no profitability. On the other hand, we have seen declining channelisation, which makes it difficult for the licensed operators who pay 18 percent gaming tax and it also jeopardizes consumer protection. High channelisation contributes to competition on equal terms for the companies in the sector that operate in the Swedish market.

During its long history, Betsson has grown more than the market. In 2019, we had a notch in this curve, but our long-term ambition to grow more than the market, organically and through acquisitions, remains. Our efficient organisation, the strong cash flow and the strong financial position provide a good foundation for acquisitions. During the fourth quarter we made a minor strategic acquisition and continue to analyse several opportunities, both in locally regulated markets and in markets that will be regulated. By further increasing the geographical distribution, we can reduce the impact of temporary downturns in individual markets.

The geographical and product distribution provide stability and also gives us the opportunity to be sustainable in our long-term efforts to run a profitable business with growth and good margins. Betsson is continuously investing in the development of the product offering and it is gratifying to get an acknowledgment that we do the right things. We saw an increase in active customers during the fourth quarter by 3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of last year 9 percent compared to the third quarter. Our in-house developed sportsbook with constantly improved performance delivers good customer experiences, sales growth and good profitability. The high performance also makes it an attractive third-party product. We have previously stated that our ambition is to offer the sportsbook to external customers and we have concluded the first deal with a third party at the beginning of the current year. We are now looking forward to the European Football Championship in June.”

ABOUT BETSSON:

Betsson AB (publ) is a holding company that invests in and manages fast-growing companies within online gaming. The company is one of the largest in online gaming in Europe and has the ambition to outgrow the market, organically and through acquisitions. This should be done in a profitable and sustainable manner, primarily in locally regulated markets. Betsson AB is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm Large Cap (BETS).

Betsson’s operational subsidiaries’ vision is to deliver the best customer experience in the industry. They offer casino, sportsbook and other games via gaming licences in twelve countries in Europe and Central Asia. The business model is to offer gaming under multiple brands, including Betsson, Betsafe, NordicBet and Casinoeuro. The brands are operated on a proprietary platform, which is the core of the offer and the customer experience.

Being a responsible operator in relation to customers, suppliers, authorities, investors and other stakeholders is a cornerstone of the Betsson’s business. Betsson is a member of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) and G4 (The Global Gambling Guidance Group).

Learn more about the Group on www.betssonab.com

Australia

Australian NAB Bank Offers Gambling Restriction Option In App

George Miller

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Australian NAB Bank Offers Gambling Restriction Option In App
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

NAB is providing new ways for customers to take greater control over their finances, becoming the first Australian bank to offer the option to block gambling transactions via its app.

All retail banking customers with NAB Visa Credit or NAB Visa Debit cards can now restrict most gambling transactions with immediate effect – with just one touch.

The gambling block capability was first implemented via iOS devices in December 2019, and has now been expanded to Android devices. NAB also remains the only major Australian bank to offer a restriction option on debit cards.

NAB Chief Customer Experience Officer Rachel Slade said the new app feature would support Australians in controlling their financial future. In December, the latest annual Australian Gambling Statistics report revealed almost $25 billion of gambling expenditure in 2017-18, with this figure rising by around 5 per cent on the year prior.

“It’s very easy to place a bet, so there’s real value in giving people the option to plan ahead and control their spending. This tool is designed to put the choice in the hands of our customers,” Ms Slade said.

“Since commencing the roll-out in December we have seen more than 10,000 customers turn on the restriction, highlighting the importance of offering easy-to-use tools for customers to manage their finances.”

The new app capability comes as Australians continue to face significant budgeting challenges, with the NAB Australian Wellbeing Survey, released Wednesday, revealing rising financial anxiety and one in four Australians experiencing some form of financial stress or hardship over the past three months.

“We’re making it easier for customers to take greater control over their money,” Ms Slade said.

“We also recognise problem gambling remains a major challenge affecting the community, and one that requires organisations, governments, and the community to work together to effectively address.”

NAB will continue to offer new opportunities for customers to improve their financial health and wellbeing, with other recent actions including offering a free credit health check for all Australians, launching ‘My Goals’ to track progress on personal savings ambitions and providing SMS reminders for credit card payments.

Background 

  • Customers need to have the latest version of the app to be able to access the feature. It blocks most gambling transactions, including sports betting, casino games, lottery tickets and online gambling – more details at nab.com.au/gamblingrestriction.
  • In March 2019, NAB first rolled out a gambling restriction service, which gave customers the option to call NAB Customer Support on 1300 308 175 to block most gambling transactions. This service is active.
  • The Customer Support team is set up to assist any customers experiencing vulnerability, including when gambling is the cause, and can refer customers to a specialist gambling financial counsellor if appropriate (via Uniting’s CareRing program).
  • The restriction can be removed via the NAB App or by calling NAB Customer Support, however there will be a delayed reactivation of 48 hours during which time the request to reactivate can be cancelled.
  • The Australian Banking Association recently released a discussion paper on the use of credit cards for gambling and the role of banks in addressing problem gambling and is currently seeking public feedback.
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Press Releases

Gambling Business Group deliver powerful industry insight to UK government department

George Miller

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Gambling Business Group deliver powerful industry insight to UK government department
The Gambling Business Group (GBG) host the gambling policy team from the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) at the recent ICE London exhibition
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Peter Hannibal, chief executive of the influential cross industry strategic body the Gambling Business Group (GBG), has thanked members for providing an ‘ultra professional’ shop window on the industry when they helped host the gambling policy team from the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) at the recent ICE London exhibition. Five of the team attended the closing day of ICE London as guests of the Gambling Business Group, participating in a guided tour of the exhibition which took in key features of the ICE show floor.

Expanding on the visit, Peter Hannibal said: “I was delighted to host the gambling policy team and to be able to explain the issues impacting the modern gambling industry. GBG members are drawn from all sectors of the industry which enabled the DCMS party to develop a holistic view of the business as opposed to viewing it exclusively through the prism of just one gambling vertical.”

He continued: “The DCMS representatives covered On-line, Off-line, Responsible Gambling, Brexit and Gambling Policy amongst many other topics. In terms of specifics they wanted an insight to technological developments, the industry’s safer gambling initiatives as well as the emergence of the e-sports phenomenon. GBG Members exhibiting at ICE, including Playtech, Novomatic UK, Regal Leisure, Innovative Technologies Ltd, SG Gaming, Praesepe, Inspired Entertainment, Blueprint Gaming and Reflex Gaming were able to show the DCMS team a wide range of innovations, technological solutions as well as a sharp focus on safer gambling. Members of the party stayed on after the scheduled visits had finished simply to wander around what is undoubtedly the greatest gambling show on earth!

“Finally, I would like to issue a big thank you to both the ICE London organising team led by Kate Chambers and to GBG member companies for representing and portraying the Industry in such a compelling and ultra professional way.”

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Industry News

Trustly recognized as the Best PISP, AISP at the Merchant Payment Ecosystem Awards (MPE Awards)

George Miller

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Trustly wins best open banking solution at the Merchant Payment Ecosystem Awards
Photo Source: trustly.net
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Trustly is thrilled to announce that it has been recognized as the Best PISP, AISP (Payment Initiation Service Provider, Account Information Service Provider) at the Merchant Payment Ecosystem Awards (MPE Awards).

The MPE Awards have, over the past 10 years, become an important benchmark of global excellence in POS and merchant payments and celebrate and honor the achievements of companies across the European merchant payments ecosystem. The PISP AISP award goes to the company that most efficiently brings open banking services to the merchant community, and provides the best customer experience. Trustly won this award for its continuously innovative approach to realizing the potential of open banking.

Leon Dhaene, Chairman of the MPE Awards, says: “Make e-commerce simple again. It could have been the slogan of a politician, but it is essential if you want to bring potential customers to effectively buy over the internet. The Jury appreciated the fact that Trustly delivers fast, simple and secure payments in only three steps.”

Oscar Berglund, CEO at Trustly, says: “We’re proud to be recognized as the Best PISP, AISP at the MPE Awards. We will continue to work meticulously on further developing the online banking payment solution that our merchants and their customers love. It feels great to have our hard work recognized by the merchant and partner community.”

 

About Trustly:

Founded in 2008, Trustly is the global leader in Online Banking Payments. Our account-to-account network bypasses the card networks, letting consumers make fast, simple and secure payments to merchants directly from their online banking accounts. With support for more than 6,000 banks, roughly 600 million consumers across Europe and North America can pay with Trustly. We serve many of the world’s most prominent merchants within e-commerce, financial services, gaming, media, telecom and travel, which all benefit from increased consumer conversion and reduced operations, fraud and chargeback costs.

Trustly has 400 employees across Europe, the US and Latin America. We are a licensed Payment Institution under the second payment services directive (PSD2) and operate under the supervision of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority in Europe. In the US, we are state regulated as required to serve our target markets. Read more at www.trustly.com.

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