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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

Gambling in the USA

AGA, AGEM Launch Partnership to Combat Unregulated Gaming Machines

George Miller

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AGA, AGEM Launch Partnership to Combat Unregulated Gaming Machines
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Campaign Will Highlight Gray Market Misinformation

The American Gaming Association (AGA) and the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) announced a new partnership to combat the unchecked spread of unregulated gaming machines throughout the United States. The ongoing campaign will focus on providing state and local policymakers, law enforcement, and regulatory agencies with new resources and tools to stop the proliferation of unregulated gaming machines.

Casino gaming is one of the most highly regulated industries in the U.S. with more than 4,000 state and tribal regulators dedicated to overseeing all forms of gaming, including electronic gaming machines. The recent growth of unregulated machines across the country raises a host of concerns which the organizations outlined in a fact sheet released today. Among them are the lack of testing, consumer protections, and responsible gaming measures, which underscore the need for states with gray market and illegal machines to make this a priority area of focus.

“Stamping out the illegal market that threatens the safety of consumers will always be one of the gaming industry’s highest priorities,” said Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. “We are proud to work with the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers and our fellow industry partners to combat the spread of illegal machines. The AGA is encouraged that policymakers in some states such as Virginia have begun to recognize the dangers of these machines and have taken recent legislative action toward outlawing them. Unfortunately, other jurisdictions where these machines have become pervasive may believe their only recourse is to regulate and tax them. Rewarding bad behavior is not the answer, and we hope our education efforts will make it clear that the only real solution is to stop the spread of these devices.”

“The regulated gaming industry has rarely been more united on a singular issue and now we have a tool to address the misinformation and deception that unregulated machine companies use to confound law enforcement, the courts, and local citizens,” said Marcus Prater, executive director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers. “The spread of these machines represents a serious threat to the overall regulated market that has invested billions in infrastructure while also creating thousands of jobs and substantial tax benefits in the communities they serve. Moreover, unregulated machines prey on confused players who see slot machine symbols and think they’re getting a fair chance when they absolutely are not.”

 

More than 20 professional gaming organizations have joined the AGA and AGEM in opposition to the spread of unregulated gaming, including the National Indian Gaming Association, the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, the International Center for Responsible Gaming, the National Council on Problem Gambling, multiple state casino and tribal associations, and both of the leading independent gaming equipment test labs. View the full list here.

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Latin America

Zitro Illusion And Allure, Rising Values In Mexico

George Miller

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Zitro Illusion And Allure, Rising Values In Mexico
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Nobody wants to be left behind in Mexico after seeing how the new cabinets Illusion and Allure have taken venues by storm with their games Bashiba Link, 88 Link Lucky Charms and 88 Link Wild Duels. Since its official presentation in Las Vegas, many of the most important Casinos in the country already have them. The new company to include these incredible games is the prestigious Orus Group.

“Our casinos stand out for always being at the forefront of technology incorporating the latest market trends to offer our customers unique experiences. In Zitro we find an ideal partner with whom we share many values ​​on the path to excellence,” said the heads of Orus Group.

“Passion is the engine of Zitro and it is what moves us to continue creating exceptional games and improve with each launch. Illusion and Allure are the latest developments that demonstrate the very high capacity and talent of our creators who have achieved, in record time, something that is only possible by having a tremendously united and motivated team. I am very grateful to the confidence that Orus Group has placed again in Zitro and in our latest innovations,” says Johnny Viveiros Ortiz, founder of Zitro.

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Industry News

SlotCatalog Launch New Game Sections And Expanded Data Filters

George Miller

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SlotCatalog Launch New Game Sections And Expanded Data Filters
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

SlotCatalog, the analytics provider of real-time industry slots popularity and performance today, revealed its ‘Level-Up’ project, which released new game sections and expanded data filters for its growing user base.

The Maltese based firm is committed to making its platform the go-to hub for data-driven games performance, management, and resource tools for casino managers looking to drive market insight across regulated operational consumer markets.

A company spokesperson said: “We’ve just returned from ICE London iGB Affiliate London and listened to many industry peers, clients, and more. Given the headwinds of regulatory scrutiny, executives are looking to data to potentially unlock market gaps as they develop an ongoing responsible gambling marketing strategy.

The Games section now included Top Ranked Games, by month, year and Megaways, and Progressive slots performance data. Our filters now include Market, Game Type, Brands, Release Date, RTP, Volatility, Max Exposure, Min & Max Bet, Game Features, Casino Quantity, and Layout for a deeper delve and interrogation into our expanding data archives.

We are always thriving to improve the user experience at SlotCatalog, and welcome industry feedback and requirements metrics for any informed decision making in the digital casino landscape for the operator, affiliate, and developer and likewise for the slots player, so do get in touch”.

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