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Kindred Group update on the initial impact of COVID-19

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Kindred gives employees a real stake in the company through share ownership
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In light of the exceptional circumstances caused by COVID-19, Kindred is providing the following updates.

Trading update

Kindred has had a good start to the year with gross winning revenue for the first quarter of 2020 estimated to be in the range of GBP 247-252 million (Q1-2019: GBP 224.4 million) unaudited. The gross winning revenue was positively impacted by strong sports betting margins in the period up the disruption of sports in the middle of March 2020. Despite this, the margin before free bets was 12.2 per cent for the quarter, compared to 9.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2019.

The full impact of cancelled sports events was largely effective from 16 March 2020, which resulted in lower sports book turnover, however partially compensated by solid growth in revenues from other products. As a very short-term indication, during the period 16 March to 31 March 2020, the daily average gross winnings revenue was GBP 2.2 million, which was 10 per cent lower than the average for the full year in 2019 (11 per cent in constant currency).

Update on dividend for 2019

Kindred has a good financial position with strong liquidity and low leverage. However, due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and to ensure that Kindred is well capitalized for future investment opportunities, the Board has decided to change the previously communicated proposal on the 2019 dividend and will recommend to the AGM that no dividend is paid.

Operational update

Kindred has taken steps to protect employees and to ensure continuity of operations by adjusting ways of working so that, wherever possible, employees work from home. As a modern technology-based company, this has been achieved with minimum disruption to the business. Kindred is also working closely with all its partners to continue to provide an attractive sports and racing offer where possible and to be ready for normalized levels of sport activity.

Henrik Tjärnström, CEO, comments:

“We expect the impact of the coronavirus on our business to be temporary, with sports activities gradually resuming during or after the summer. In order to reduce the earnings impact of temporarily lower sports revenues, we will adapt our cost base through reduced levels of marketing spend, lower operating costs and delaying certain investments.

While the current situation presents several challenges, I remain very positive about Kindred’s future outlook. Kindred will continue to benefit from a wide geographical reach and a broad product mix as well as a business model which has been resilient during previous times of economic downturns. I also believe that the social and behavioural changes that are already happening will accelerate the migration from offline to online, which will benefit digital operators like Kindred. Our focus on player safety and care for our customers will naturally continue with the same dedication.”

Quarterly Results Presentations

Kindred will publish results for the first quarter on 24 April 2020. The results presentation and Q&A session will be available through webcast as usual. The previously planned physical meeting at Regeringsgatan 25 in Stockholm will not take place. The arrangements for the results announcements for subsequent quarters will depend on the relevant advice from public authorities.

 

About Kindred Group:

Kindred Group is one of the world’s leading online gambling operators with business across Europe and Australia, offering over 26 million customers across 11 brands a great form of entertainment in a safe, fair and sustainable environment. The company, which employs about 1,600 people, is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm Large Cap and is a founding member of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) and founding member of IBIA (International Betting Integrity Association). Kindred Group is audited and certified by eCOGRA for compliance with the 2014 EU Recommendation on Consumer Protection and Responsible Gambling (2014/478/EU).

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TAPPX CELEBRATES 9TH BIRTHDAY AND LAUNCHES TECHSOULOGY

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Tappx, a leading global AdTech company, proudly announces the launch of Techsoulogy, a new corporate brand that unifies a broad portfolio of companies powering solutions for digital advertising, video content, mobile apps and video gaming across mobile, desktop, and CTV platforms.

The launch of Techsoulogy coincides with the 9th birthday of Tappx, which has grown rapidly since 2013 to reach 70 staff, and is forecast to surpass EUR 20 million of revenue this year. Tappx will now become part of the Techsoulogy brand while retaining its own name and unique position in the market. This is a major milestone in the company’s story, providing coherence of branding and messaging to a set of companies that have been launched or acquired by Tappx in recent years, with a total headcount approaching 100.

Alongside Tappx, Techsoulogy will be the corporate brand for four other companies focused on multiple complementary media and entertainment verticals including video generation and monetization, contextual advertising, and mobile game development. Each has been brought under the coherent messaging architecture and visual brand identity, with their own subtle twists. The Techsoulogy brand identity was defined with the help of Collaborabrands, and brought to life with words from Fernando Beltrán, visuals from Comuniza, and digital ecosystem development from Branng. Future brands entering the group will also be part of the consistent identity.

Daniel Reina, CEO at Techsoulogy and the founder of Tappx, commented:

“We believe this new brand architecture is an ideal model for our diverse companies, providing a common thread between them and creating a framework for us to keep growing and moving into new product categories. Tappx has been the engine behind this expansion, consistently growing in revenue and headcount even through challenging economic conditions, but it’s time for it to be part of something bigger.

“This includes not being afraid to talk about our vision for how technology and humanity will interact. How can we contribute human intelligence to artificial intelligence, and what qualifies us to have our say? As Tappx, we pioneered various initiatives to create a safer, more accessible, and more transparent digital environment at the expense of short-term profit: to help publishers adopt IAB standards; select only trustworthy, direct owned and operated traffic; and enable contextual advertising that improves user experience while protecting privacy. As Techsoulogy, we will do far more.”

Fernando Saiz Camarero, CMO at Techsoulogy, added:

“This has been an extensive project that began in mid-2021 when we asked our customers and partners what they value about us. We discovered that alongside our advanced technology, we’re best known for the quality of our people, ways of working, and culture. The team is our most powerful asset, and so we came up with the name Techsoulogy to encapsulate themes of technology, humanity and knowledge. As Techsoulogy, we will constantly explore, learn and improve to achieve more together than we ever could apart.”

Tappx recorded 97% revenue growth between 2020 and 2021 and is set to grow markedly again this year, with forecasts indicating revenue of at least EUR 20 million in 2022.

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Golden Palace Group Buys Noirétable Casino

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Belgian casino group Golden Palace has bought the casino in the French town of Noirétable in Loire, adding to its previous acquisition of the Boulogne casino in Pas-de-Calais back in 2019.

Established in 2005 in a village of 1800 inhabitants, where it houses a Black Jack table, a Boule table, 72 slot machines offering minimum bets ranging from 1 cent to 1 euro, eight electronic English roulette stations, as well as a multitude of festive events, the casino is a real institution. Proof of the dynamism of the establishment and the loyalty of its customers, the casino, which until then belonged to the Raineau group, crossed the symbolic bar of one million visitors in 2019.

The casino also has a restaurant area with La Brasserie and a bar available to players. Outside, L’Annex, quieter and accessible to all, also offers a relaxing break. In addition to the games area, the Noirétable casino has three reception rooms, including one with a capacity of 400 people, which can accommodate private and corporate events.

Under the impetus of the Golden Palace group, the Noirétable casino will benefit from an investment of €800,000 devoted to the renewal of slot machines, gaming tables and the renovation of the building.

The teams previously in place within the establishment, around thirty people, will continue their mission of animation and entertainment under the Golden Palace banner.

“We are very pleased with this acquisition. This is a real opportunity for our group, and we are delighted to be able to take over the operation of the Noirétable casino, a major employer in the region, with the team in place, in a spirit of entrepreneurial dynamism,” Massimo Menegalli, CEO of Golden Palace group, said.

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New EGBA Report: Personalised Safer Gambling Communication Sees Massive Growth in 2021

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The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has published its annual Sustainability Report 2021/2022.

The report focuses on the progress made by EGBA and its members in promoting and creating a safer and more sustainable gambling environment. According to the report, there is an increase of 700% in the number of personalised and targeted safer gambling communications that the EGBA members have sent to their customers in 2021.

In this year’s edition, the CEOs of EGBA member companies express their commitment to promote sustainable gambling and outline their joint efforts to invest in a strong culture of safer gambling.

The report aims to take stock of and track yearly progress, support transparency and reinforce a strong culture of safer gambling and social responsibility. Included in the report are EGBA’s key sustainability highlights from the past year and data points from its members related to customer service topics, the use of safer gambling tools, the promotion of safer gambling, social contributions, support for European sport, as well as a section dedicated to social responsibility initiatives.

Key data highlights from EGBA members:

  • There was a significant increase in the number of safer gambling communications sent to customers, with 38 million communications sent – a 123% yearly increase.
  • Personalised and targeted communications accounted for 66% of all the safer gambling communications sent to customers, with 22.5 million personalised communications sent – a 700% yearly increase.
  • There were 15.5 million generic communications sent to customers to promote safer gambling – a 9% yearly increase.
  • The number of customers using at least one safer gambling tool, either mandatorily or voluntarily, increased to 14.9 million, or 50% of customers.
  • Voluntary contributions to various European sports, through sponsorships and sports streaming rights payments, totalled €499 million – a 22% yearly increase.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, said: “We’re pleased to see that our members are communicating more than ever to their customers about safer gambling and, importantly, in a significantly more personalised and targeted way. This is all part of their efforts to promote sustainability and a strong culture of safer gambling. Meaningful progress has been made, and it is pleasing to see our members reinforcing their efforts by funding more research, introducing innovative new strategies, and investing in the latest tools and technologies to promote safer gambling. The personal commitment of the CEOs to achieve this progress is vital and shows that our members take our collective sustainability drive seriously.”

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