Online Operations Aid Growth At Fortuna

Online activity the main driver of growth, but EBITDA is 21 percent down

Fortuna Entertainment Group, a Central European fixed-odds betting operator, has announced its unaudited consolidated results for the first quarter of 2015, reporting:
* Total amounts staked up by 20.2 percent to Euro 199.3 million
* Total Gross Win up by 3.7 percent to Euro 35.4 million
* Online operations a major contributor, with Sports Betting Gross Win up by 22.9 percent to Euro 19.9 million
Per Widerstrom, CEO of Fortuna, said that growth in Amounts Staked was up by double digits in all key markets, primarily driven by online betting operations, but he noted that in terms of Gross Win the group had been negatively impacted by the abolition of the online handling fee in Slovakia, and by unfavourable sporting results, mainly in football, in March.
The abolition of the Slovakian fee led to an acceleration of online live betting growth and migration from Retail to Online, which implies further Gross Win margin pressure, the company warned.
Wagers on sports betting reached Euro 194.6 million in the first quarter of 2015, a 20.1 percent improvement on the first quarter of 2014. Lottery betting totalled Euro 4.7 million, a 23.7 percent y-o-y increase.
The Gross Win from sports betting was Euro 33.3 million, a 3 percent increase y-o-y. Of this figure, the Gross Win from online betting in the first quarter of 2015 increased a substantial 22.9 percent y-o-y to Euro 19.9 million.
The Gross Win from retail betting in Q1-2015 was Euro 13.4 million, whilst the Gross Win from the lottery business was Euro 2 million, a 17.2 percent growth over the same period of last year.
In the first quarter Gross Win reached Euro 35.4 million, an increase of 3.7 percent y-o-y.
Total EBITDA was down 21 percent y-o-y at Euro 7.4 million. The total is drawn from a 23.8 percent decline in sports betting to Euro 7.1 million and the lottery EBITDA of Euro 277,000.
Management cut its full year EBITDA outlook, saying it could fall by 25-30 percent year-on-year. In March, the company saw core earnings falling by 20-25 percent this year.

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