“The strong EBITDA growth clearly illustrates the scalability of our business model”
– Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO
second quarter 2020: 1 april–30 june
- Revenue increased by 17% to EUR 110.7 m (94.4). Organic growth in local currencies was 19%.
- EBITDA was EUR 23.0 million (15.1), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 20.8% (16.0%) and a growth of 53 %.
- The number of depositing customers was 434,453 (350,298), an increase of 24%.
- Earnings per share were EUR 0.14 (0.08) before and after dilution, while adjusted earnings per share were EUR 0.19 (0.11).
Events during the quarter
- LeoVegas completed the migration of 12 brands in the UK to the Group’s proprietary technical platform.
- The LiveCasino.com brand was launched in a number of English-speaking countries.
- At LeoVegas’ Annual General Meeting on 8 May, Anna Frick and Fredrik Rüdén were re-elected as board members. Hélène Westholm, Mathias Hallberg, Carl Larsson, Per Norman and Torsten Söderberg were elected as new board members. Per Norman was elected as Chairman of the Board.
- The effects related to COVID-19 are judged overall to have had a positive impact on NGR during April and May, however, the effect on revenues in Sweden was negative during the quarter.
Events after the end of the quarter
- Preliminary revenue in July amounted to EUR 30.7 m (29.3), representing growth of 5%. The temporary restrictions introduced in Sweden starting on 2 July have had a negative impact on revenue.
- The number of depositing customers increased by 34% in July compared with the same period a year ago, to a new record level for a single month.
- GoGoCasino was launched in Finland. An international rollout of the brand is now continuing.
- LeoVegas has increased its ownership in the e-sports betting operator Pixel.bet to 85%, from 51% previously.
COMMENT FROM GUSTAF HAGMAN – GROUP CEO
SECOND QUARTER 2020
LeoVegas has delivered continued solid growth and profitability during a period of exceptional circumstances in the world around us. Supported by the record-large customer base that we entered the quarter with, together with our ability to quickly adapt to new conditions, the positive trend from the first quarter is continuing.
Revenue during the second quarter amounted to EUR 110.7 m (94.4), representing organic growth of 19%. Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) for casino grew 24% during the period, while for sports betting it decreased by 53% compared with the same period a year ago.
EBITDA amounted to EUR 23.0 m (15.1), corresponding to a margin of 20.8% (16.0%). We thus grew EBITDA by 53%, which shows the scalability in our business model from higher revenue. The sharply improved operating profit has been achieved despite a continued high pace of expansion and increased investments in technology and products.
I am very satisfied with how we at LeoVegas are handling the COVID-19 situation so that we can conduct our business without noticeable disruptions, despite challenges such as not being able to meet in our daily work. Our industry, like many other sectors, is experiencing a structural shift from offline to online. Owing to LeoVegas’ online position, appreciated brands and proprietary technical platform, we stand strong in an increasingly digital world.
We had favourable development in most of our markets during the second quarter. Growth has been driven primarily by a record-large depositing customer base, which grew 24% compared with a year ago. The Rest of Europe region experienced exceptionally high growth, with Italy posting record-strong performance. The effects related to COVID-19 are judged overall to have had a positive impact on NGR during April and May, mainly in the markets that were entirely shut down during the period. In these markets, LeoVegas has taken market shares from the land-based gambling industry. However, the effect on revenue related to COVID-19 is judged to have been negative in Sweden during the quarter.
During the quarter, several countries implemented measures to reduce the risk for problem gaming in connection with COVID-19. Spain, for example, introduced a temporary ban on gambling advertising. On top of these restrictions, LeoVegas has chosen to implement its own proactive measures to strengthen player protection. Most of the temporary restrictions throughout Europe ended in June, and Spain and the UK, among other countries, have reverted to normal regulations once their respective societies opened up again.
It is therefore remarkable that Sweden, despite massive criticism from most areas, has moved in the opposite direction and introduced new, temporary restrictions, effective 2 July, focused particularly on online casino. There is a large risk that these restrictions, implemented entirely without supporting factual data, are undermining the Swedish regulation system and driving players to companies without Swedish licences, where player protection is non-existent. These restrictions therefore risk being counter-productive and instead contribute to an increase in problem gaming in Sweden.
The independent research consultancy Copenhagen Economics has noted that one consequence of the new restrictions is that the unregulated market for online casino may increase to as much as 50%, which is far from the authorities’ stated goal to limit the unregulated market to 10% at most.
We advocate for balanced and clear regulations for achieving long-term sustainable licensing systems. LeoVegas wants to contribute to this through a broader dialogue and collaboration with the authorities in the countries we are active in.
During the quarter we launched the new LiveCasino.com brand in a number of English-speaking countries. We see great potential for the brand. The start has been promising, and additional markets are to be expected.
Following the successful launch of GoGoCasino in Sweden last year, an international rollout of the brand is now under way. Finland was the second market to launch, at the start of July.
The successful launches of new brands are in line with the company’s multibrand strategy and show our ability to create new revenue streams while at the same time drawing benefit from the Group’s economies of scale.
comments on third quarter
Revenue for the month of July amounted to EUR 30.7 m (29.3), representing a growth rate of 5%.
Our assessment is that the gaming market has returned to a more normal environment in July, with a natural player shift from casino back to sports betting now that the major sports leagues have restarted. At the same time, the temporary restrictions introduced in Sweden starting on 2 July are having a negative impact on revenue.
The positive trend in our customer base is continuing into the third quarter, and the number of depositing customers increased by 34% in July compared with the same period a year ago, to a new record level for a single month. We will maintain a continued high rate of investment during the third quarter, partly linked to the launch of new brands and market establishments. Our current assessment is therefore that marketing costs will be in line with – or slightly higher than – the level during the second quarter.
We continue to focus on delivering sustainable and profitable growth for our shareholders and on offering an entertaining and safe gaming experience for our customers around the world. LeoVegas’ long-term vision is to be “King of Casino”.
Presentation of the report – today at 09:00 CET
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