CEO claims strong growth in profitability
The Unibet online gambling group has posted its year-end report for the period January – December 2014, qualifying its results with the observation that the numbers include Kambi's results up to and a significant non-recurring net gain of GBP 35.3 million as a result of the disposal of that company.
Fourth quarter highlights reported by the group include:
* Gross winnings revenue of GBP 78.0 (74.4) million for the fourth quarter of 2014 and GBP 312.0 (268.0) million for the full year 2014;
* EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2014 at GBP 18.9 (20.2) million, and EBITDA for the full year 2014 at GBP 115.7 (63.4) million;
* Profit from operations for the fourth quarter of 2014 amounted to GBP 15.3 (15.5) million and GBP 98.9 (44.5) million for the full year 2014;
* Profit before tax for the fourth quarter of 2014 came in at GBP 15.4 (15.4) million and GBP 99.0 (43.3) million for the full year 2014;
* Profit after tax for the fourth quarter of 2014 amounted to GBP 13.5 (14.7) million and GBP 93.4 (40.1) million for the full year 2014;
* Operating cash flow before movements in working capital amounted to GBP 18.6 (20.4) million for the fourth quarter of 2014 and GBP 78.2 (63.8) million for the full year 2014;
* Number of active customers at the end of the quarter was 570,360 (516,799);
* The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of GBP 1.640 (1.100) per share/SDR, which is approximately SEK 20.90 (11.70) per share/SDR and amounts to a proposed distribution to shareholders of GBP 46.7 (30.8) million.
Chief Executive Officer, Henrik Tjärnström, CEO reported to shareholders that compared with the fourth quarter 2013, this quarter was significantly influenced by exchange rate movements on Unibet's main currencies.
"If the average exchange rates for the fourth quarter 2013 were applied to this quarter, gross winnings revenue would be approximately GBP 84.5 million," Tjärnström said. "Excluding the effects of exchange rate movements and excluding Kambi's contribution the underlying growth in gross winnings revenue was 16 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2013."
"In spite of a sports betting margin below the long term average, Unibet's markets continue to show strong growth and profitability. Also our mobile offering continues to grow and is now over 43 per cent of the gross winnings revenue."
He went on to comment: "The strong performance of the group resulted in an increase in the free cash flow of 41 percent. Against this background, the Board has proposed a cash dividend of GBP 1.640 which is approximately SEK 20.90, a growth of 79 per cent in SEK.
"The Q4 report also includes a negative FX charge of GBP 1.6 million of which GBP 1.2 million relates to unrealised translation differences. A major component of this translation adjustment relates to net cash balances that Unibet holds in SEK to fund the proposed 2015 dividend.'
Giving a trading update, Tjärnström revealed:
"In the first five weeks of the first quarter average daily gross winnings revenue has increased by approximately 5 percent in GBP and approximately 16 percent in local currencies over the same period in 2014".
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa