Financial Reports and Trading Updates — Weekly Round-up for April 22, 2017

Betsson Rises To A Challenging Year

Confident developments will lead to an even stronger performance

Despite a challenging year, Betsson delivered in its full Year 2016 fiscal report.

Key performance markers for the twelve month period ending December 31, 2016 include:

–      Group revenues of SEK 4,117 million (2015: SEK 3,7220 million), up 11 percent.

–  A 15 percent increase in gross profit to SEK 3,078.0 million (2015: SEK 2,675 million).

–  Operating income grew to SEK 946 million (2015: SEK 886 million), with an operating margin of 23 percent (2015: 23.8 percent).

–  Income before tax was SEK 936.0 million (2015: SEK 883 million).

–  Net income amounted to SEK 878 million (2015: SEK 831.7 million), equivalent to SEK 6.34 (2015: SEK 6.02) per share.

–  Registered customers grew to 10,101,045 (2015: 9,022,161), a 12 percent increase. Active customers amounted to 573,277 (2015: 526,291), an increase of 9 percent.

Online casino games remain Betsson’s largest product accounting for 70.6 percent of revenues (2015: 68.3 percent). Sportsbook now accounts for 26.2 percent of revenues (2015: 27.2 percent) and Poker 2.8 percent (2015: 3.2 percent).

“2016 was a challenging year at times for Betsson AB, particularly the second quarter when our results did not live up to our expectations, or to those of others. The second half of the year developed positively, and Betsson enters 2017 with better products, strong underlying activity and a good presence in more countries,” Ulrik Bengtsson, president and CEO of Betsson AB, said.

M&A, increasing revenues for locally regulated markets and the launch of horserace betting products across all Betsson brands are priorities identified by the company, amongst others, for 2017 and beyond.

“The significant investments that have been made in product development are already visible in the revenues from mobile casino,” Bengtsson explained. “I am convinced that Sportbook will also be very competitive in 2017 due to improved functionality and the launch of e.g. horse racing betting products. As mentioned, 2016 was a challenging year, but Betsson is much stronger today than a year ago”.

Nektan Publish Encouraging Trading Update

Realigned strategy appears to be paying off

A trading update from B2B mobile gaming firm, Nektan, reports continuing improved trading in its third quarter.

Key performance indicators for the three months ending 31 March 2017, include:

–  Net gaming revenue of GBP 3.7 million, up 63 percent year-on-year from GBP 2.2 million.

–  An increase of 147 percent in first time depositors to reach GBP 38,424 (Q3/2016: 15,568).

–  Cash wagering amounted to GBP 99 million (Q3/2016: GBP 56.1 million), an increase of 77 percent.

“Nektan continues to make positive progress across our businesses in Europe and the US, powered by our proprietary core platform, Evolve, helping the Company to strengthen its position as an international gaming provider, offering solutions and services that are fresh, high quality and tangibly different from other suppliers,” Leigh Nissim, Chief Executive Officer of Nektan, commented.

Live Dealer Provider Reports 60 Percent Rise In Revenue In Q1-2017

Evolution Gaming attributes growth to higher demand for live casino and expansion into Latin America

Reporting on its Q1-2017 results Thursday, Evolution Gaming posted a 60 percent year-on-year rise in revenues, attributing growth to higher demand for live casino and expansion into Latin America.

Operating revenues during the three-month period increased to Euro 39.7 million , up from Euro 24.8 million last year, while the Swedish supplier’s EBITDA rose 65 percent to Euro 17 million (10.3), corresponding to a margin of 43 percent (42)..

Profit for the period came in at Euro 12.7 million (7.6) and EPS reached Euro 0.35 (0.21).

Events during the first quarter of 2017 included:

* Overall very high demand for Live Casino games among the customers;

* Agreement with the Spanish gaming operator Codere for exclusive provision of Live Casino in Mexico;

* Additional new agreements with mybet, Matchbook and White Hat Gaming;

The company noted under “Events following the balance sheet date” that entry into the Canadian market has been secured through an agreement with British Columbia Lottery Corporation for provision of Live Casino services

CEO Martin Carlesund said in a statement:

“Looking ahead in 2017, we see continued strong demand for our products, even if the second and third quarters tend to have less activity than the winter months. Furthermore, we have no major sporting event driving traffic during the summer this year.

“However, we view our continued growth confidently, with good opportunities to further widen the gap to our competitors, through our strategy with its clear focus on profitable growth. To support future expansion, we intend to start the establishment of our third major studio in Europe during the year, which like our production studios in Riga and Malta will be able to serve multiple markets and customers”.

Successful First Quarter For NetEnt

Growth strategy continues to pay dividends

Online gambling software and games provider NetEnt released its Q1-2017 results Thursday, reporting the following highlights:
* Revenues for the first quarter increased by 15.2 percent to SEK 398 (345) million;
* Operating profit was SEK 136 (128) million, an increase of 6.3 percent;
* Operating margin was 34.2 (37.1) percent;
* Profit after tax amounted to SEK 124 (122) million, an increase of 1.8 percent;
* Earnings per share were SEK 0.52 (0.51) before and after dilution;
* 15 new customer agreements were signed, a new record, and six new customers’ casinos were launched;
* Games were launched with Codere on the regulated market in Mexico;
* NetEnt announced that it will develop its first VR game and revealed two new branded game titles for 2017: Planet of the Apes and Emojis;
* The Live Casino product offering was strengthened with the launch of Common Draw Black Jack for mobile.

Per Eriksson, President and CEO said in a company report:

“We continued to deliver on our growth strategy in the first quarter and revenues increased in line with our earlier comments about the quarter. For the first time, NetEnt’s games were launched on the regulated market in Mexico and the company announced that the first game for Virtual Reality (VR) will be developed in 2017.

“For the rest of 2017, we see conditions for continued solid growth supported by new games, increasing market shares in the UK, mobile growth, many new customers to be launched and our ongoing expansion in North America.”

The company is hopeful that proposals for new gaming legislation in Sweden will set commercially viable conditions for industry participants while at the same time opening up new, substantial tax income for the government.

“We welcome such a new legislation. A modern gaming legislation that leads to a high channelization to regulated gaming forms creates a more secure environment for both players and the industry. We intend to apply for a B2B-license as an industry supplier,” a company spokesman said.

“Over the years, NetEnt has invested and built up an organization and the expertise to obtain and maintain gaming licenses. NetEnt has licenses and certifications in many European countries such as Denmark, UK, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Belgium, Estonia and Spain. Regulated markets are an important part of our growth and sustainability strategies and no other gaming supplier is present on so many regulated markets like we are.

“We continue to hire more employees and develop our platform. We strengthen the organization to increase our production capacity, enter more regulated markets and integrate a large number of new customers,” the spokesman said.

“With this in mind, we foresee an ongoing need to invest during 2017. We do this to enable continued solid growth with increasing economies of scale for NetEnt going forward – the future outlook remains bright.”