Connect with us

News

LeoVegas AB: Q4 report and financial targets pushed one year to 2021

Published

on

LeoVegas AB: Q4 report and financial targets pushed one year to 2021Reading Time: 9 minutes

 

After a challenging 2018 we now see improved momentum with a record strong December and a positive start to 2019. Entering the new year we have full focus on expansion, cost control, increased profitability and to continue building the world’s best mobile casino.” – Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO

Fourth quarter 2018: 1 October– 31 December 2018

  • Revenue increased by 25% to EUR 84.5 m (67.8).
  • Organic growth in local currencies was 7%. Organic growth in local currencies excluding the UK was 14%.
  • EBITDA was EUR 8.1 m (6.1), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 9.6% (9.0%).
  • Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) from regulated markets was 33% (29%) of total NGR.
  • The number of depositing customers was 327,156 (253,299), an increase of 29%.
  • The number of returning depositing customers was 181,747 (124,890), an increase of 46%.
  • Earnings per share were EUR 0.22 (0.02) before dilution and EUR 0.22 (0.01) after dilution.

Events during the quarter

  • LeoVegas has applied for a gambling licence for the Spanish market. Approval and implementation are expected during the first or second quarter of 2019.
  • LeoVegas was one of the first operators to receive a licence for both casino and sports betting in Sweden.

Events after the end of the quarter

  • LeoVegas has postponed its financial targets from 2020 to 2021 due to developments in the UK market. However, the direction remains unchanged with financial targets in absolute numbers to reach EUR 600 m in revenue and EUR 100 m in EBITDA.
  • The Group’s Pixel.bet brand was granted a licence for online casino and sports betting in Sweden.
  • The Board proposes a total dividend of SEK 1.20 per share (1.20), to be paid out on two occasions during the year.
  • Revenue amounted to EUR 28.7 m (24.8) in January, representing growth of 16%.

Comment from Gustaf Hagman – Group CEO

2018 – an educational year for a seven-year old
2018 was the most challenging year in LeoVegas’ history. We bumped into challenges that we have not previously encountered and saw a slowdown in growth as a result. It was also a year in which we carried out a number of strategically crucial projects that have taken us large steps forward on our growth journey. There is much left to do, and there’s no doubt we can and will improve in many areas. We have learned a lot, and our position for achieving our long-term vision – to be the global market leader in mobile casino – is good. Today we are already the most appreciated brand in our home market in Sweden, and we are live in more markets than ever before. We are well-invested with our own technology, which makes us scalable and flexible, and we have taken large leaps in responsible gaming and compliance. Our multibrand strategy is in place, enabling us to rapidly launch new casino brands, and we are ready to expand in more markets in 2019 with an overall focus on cost control and increased profitability.

During the fourth quarter we also returned to sequential growth following a slowdown during the third quarter, and we ended the year with all-time high revenues in December, and with record-high customer activity. The new year has also started on a promising note – for example, our depositing customer base was up 42% in January. LeoVegas has just celebrated seven years as a company. We have achieved a lot in a short period of time, but we are still just at the start of our growth journey.

Fourth quarter figures
Revenue during the fourth quarter amounted to EUR 84.5 m (67.8), an increase of 25%. Organic growth in local currencies was 7%. As in the preceding quarter, growth during the period was affected by weak performance in the UK. Excluding the UK, organic growth for the Group was 14% during the quarter, which shows healthy underlying growth. October was the weakest month during the quarter, and December the strongest.

EBITDA totalled EUR 8.1 m (6.1), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 9.6% (9.0%). We increased our investments in marketing during the quarter, among other things to reassure our leading position in Sweden ahead of the market’s regulation, but also in other key markets. Marketing costs amounted to 37.9% during the fourth quarter, compared with 35.6% during the third quarter. Our personnel costs in relation to revenue remained at a higher level than we are pleased with. We will thus now focus on cost control, improving efficiency in our ways of working, and increase automation in our operations. This is also necessary in order to adapt our cost base to rising tax pressure in our regulated markets.

Sweden – finally a regulated market
The day we have been waiting for has finally arrived, when Sweden became a regulated market. We were among the first companies to be granted a licence, which is a quality seal and confirms our position as a leading, long-term and serious player in the industry. In January, LeoVegas’ Pixel.bet brand also received a licence in Sweden for casino and sports betting. Pixel.bet has the ambition to take the leading brand position in esports betting.

A regulated market has extensive guidelines for responsible gaming. We have good experience from other regulated markets, and we have developed the organisation and our marketing methods to offer our games in the best, sustainable way. We look forward to working side-by-side the Swedish Gambling Authority and our licensed competitors to ensure a sound and responsible market that impedes the presence of unlicensed actors.

With regulation of the market, all licensed gaming companies are now free to operate in stores. LeoVegas was the first one to grasp this opportunity in January. There is important symbolic value in having a physical presence at betting agents in connection with the implementation of the new gambling law in Sweden. We will now be able to truly challenge to the old monopoly through a greater exposure of our LeoVegas brand with an even closer presence to our customers in a new type of environment.

Regulation of the market in Sweden also made it possible for us to launch the popular Swish mobile payment method in the Swedish market. Swish both strengthens our customer offering and is expected to significantly lower our transaction costs.

Improvements in the product combined with increased marketing led to a strong fourth quarter in Sweden, with 18% sequential growth, which affirms our position as the leading casino brand. The new year has also started on a positive note for LeoVegas in Sweden. We have seen record-high customer activity, with 28% growth of our Swedish depositing customer base compared with the same period a year ago. At the same time, revenue is down somewhat compared with the same period a year ago, which is partly due to many customers initially using their welcome bonuses, but also to some trim-in challenges during the first two weeks following the start of regulation, and to the fact that players are getting accustomed to certain modifications in the gaming experience.

It is still hard to accurately predict the market dynamics in Sweden in the near term, but with a record-large active customer base and a large number of exciting product and marketing initiatives under way during the year, we are well positioned in our home market. As previously, we are confident that our product, customer experience, competence in responsible gaming, very strong brand and data-driven marketing will lead to higher market shares in Sweden.

UK
The UK is Europe’s largest gambling market and a market in which LeoVegas sees continued major growth potential in the long term. Together with our brands in Rocket X, LeoVegas and Royal Panda we have a unique multibrand position in casino. In the near term the market continues to be challenging, and after a transitional period we are now working from a new, lower level on which to grow. Our revenue continued to decrease sequentially during the fourth quarter, but with gradual improvements in both revenue and KPIs. This positive development continued on Group level during January. It is still too early to declare that we have turned the corner yet in the UK, but we are confident with the plan we have charted out.

Scale-up markets
We are satisfied with our performance in most of our markets during the fourth quarter. Germany continues to be a strong growth market and once again delivered a record quarter with growth of more than 200%. In addition to Germany – Finland, Denmark and Canada amongst other markets delivered good results during the quarter.

Changes in Group Management team
As previously communicated, Richard Woodbridge has been recruited as our new Chief Operating Officer. He took up his position on 7 January and has overarching responsibility for operations in LeoVegas. Richard is based at LeoVegas’ offices in Malta.

Group Management has also been reinforced with Avshalom Lazar, who we recruited as Chief Compliance & Legal Officer. Avshalom, who is based in Malta, will strengthen the Group Management team with relevant knowledge about the industry and an understanding of and experience in the higher requirements that are placed on companies in regulated markets.

We are also adding a new role to the Group Management, Chief Product and Technical Officer (CPTO), where we are combining the CTO and CPO roles. Mattias Wedar has been recruited to this new position and will begin at LeoVegas during the spring. Mattias joins us most recently from a similar role and has solid experience in product development and keen industry knowledge. With this new position, the product and technology organisation will have a single leader, which will increase its effectiveness and cooperation within the Group.

Tech update
We have previously presented the upgrade of our technical front-end platform, which took place during the second quarter. This has improved our organic search capabilities and during the fourth quarter we saw an increase in organic traffic by more than 70% compared to the same period last year. We expect to see continued positive effects from this combined with our data-driven marketing.

The Rocket X managed UK brands encountered certain technical issues that impacted the site performance during part of the fourth quarter. The issues are now to a large extent solved which is confirmed by a higher revenue and customer activity in January compared to December.

Our technology organisation has been through an intensive period, and during the fourth quarter, three parallel platform adaptations were made to the locally regulated markets in Sweden, Germany and Spain – an impressive record for LeoVegas. We are now beginning to gradually free up resources for a renewed focus on product innovation, new brands and markets – areas that are expected to drive our growth going forward.

Financial targets and focus on growth with profitability
Following a year burdened by a number of external factors and large internal projects, we are now well prepared for the future with a renewed focus on growth. Our direction remains firm, with financial targets in absolute figures to reach EUR 600 m in revenue and EUR 100 m in EBITDA. However, we have decided to push back these targets one year, until 2021, as our adaptation to the increased regulatory requirements in the important UK market caused us to temporarily lose our tempo compared with the previous business plan.

It is also increasingly clear for us that the coming years will be decisive for who will be the long-term winners in our industry and who will not be able to cope with the increased complexity, compliance, technological development and higher tax burden. We are therefore currently in a very exciting period in the gaming industry, and we are well prepared.

As more markets become locally regulated – with more regulatory requirements and higher tax pressure – it is important to be a company that is both agile and of a size that enables economies of scale. We are convinced that this requires proprietary technology and a world-class user experience while at the same time being well invested in responsible gambling and compliance – and having a diver­sified operation both geographically and in terms of brands. Moreover, we will continuously evaluate our marketing and our organisational set-up, all in line with our focus on growth with increased profitability in an increasingly complex business environment.

We have also decided to conduct a strategic evaluation of our portfolio companies within LeoVentures, with the intention to further intensify focus within the Company on our end goal – to be the market-leading mobile casino operator globally. At the same time, we believe that the years ahead will offer a number of new growth opportunities within casino for operators with the strength and ability to act quickly, as smaller actors have a hard time adapting to the growing requirements and complexity.

Comments regarding Q1 2019
2019 has begun on a good note for LeoVegas, with Revenue of EUR 28.7 m (24.8) in January, representing growth of 16%. Underlying customer activity remains strong, with 42% growth in depositing customers compared to the same period last year.

We have now forged ahead through both an eventful and challenging year with several acquisitions, accolades, higher regulatory requirements, a number of major platform projects and a change in listing to the Stockholm Stock Exchange’s main market list. We at LeoVegas now look forward to 2019, where we have put casino front and centre and have our full focus on profitable growth.

Presentation of the report – today at 09:00 CET
To participate in the conference call, and thereby be able to ask questions, please call one of the following numbers: SE: +46 (0) 8 56 61 84 67, UK: +44 (0) 84 44 81 97 52, US: +1 64 67 41 31 67, Confirmation code: 9775259 or join at the web https://edge.media-server.com/m6/p/jtyut9im

This information is information that LeoVegas AB (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation 596/2014. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out below, at 08:00 CET on 12 February 2019.

 

 

About the LeoVegas mobile gaming group:
LeoVegas’ passion is “Leading the way into the mobile future”. LeoVegas is the premier GameTech company and is at the forefront of using state-of-the-art technology for mobile gaming. A large part of this success can be credited to an extreme product and technology focus coupled with effective and data-driven marketing. Technology development is conducted in Sweden, while operations are based in Malta. LeoVegas offers casino, live casino and sports betting, and operates two global and scalable brands – LeoVegas and Royal Panda – as well as a number of local brands in the UK. The company’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. For more about LeoVegas, visit www.leovegasgroup.com.

 


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: LeoVegas AB: Q4 report and financial targets pushed one year to 2021

News

“The Godfather of Esports Racing” Takes Top Step at Millennial Esports

Published

on

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Darren Cox, Founder of Nissan’s famed GT Academy, now behind the wheel as CEO

Millennial Esports Corp. (“Millennial” or the “Company,” TSX VENTURE: GAME, OTCQB: MLLLF), has appointed Darren Cox as company CEO and President, effective immediately. The founder of Nissan and Sony’s GT Academy, Cox previously served as Nissan’s Head of Global Motorsport. Also the man behind World’s Fastest Gamer, Cox has spent more than two decades immersed in the automotive, motorsport, and gaming industries, earning the moniker “The Godfather of Esports Racing.”

“Darren has proven throughout his career and during his time with Millennial that he is an innovative thinker with an innate ability to get things done,” said Board member Peter Liabotis. “In appointing Darren as CEO, we have not only secured the best man for the job, we have also reaffirmed our commitment to esports racing and marketing data for the growing esports industry.”

Cox made his mark in the motorsport industry as Global Motorsport Director for Nissan and head of Global Sales and Marketing for the Nissan Motorsport Brand. During his time with Nissan, Cox was responsible for the ground-breaking GT Academy program between 2008 and 2015, which took PlayStation gamers and turned them into international racing drivers for the Japanese manufacturer.

Previously, during his 18-year tenure at the Renault Nissan Alliance, Cox held several senior positions including Digital Marketing Director for Europe where he was responsible for, amongst other areas, customer data for marketing. It was in this role that Cox first realized the incredible value of data collection and analysis.

“I have seen the potential of Millennial Esports from day one and am excited to shape the company’s future with the talented group of people we have assembled,” said Cox in welcoming his move from Global CMO and President to CEO and President.

“That future is an unwavering focus on esports racing and data provision for the esports industry as a whole. These are still white spaces with a huge upside in terms of revenue that we can exploit through a combination of my background and our assets, such as our in-house gaming studio Eden Games and our data experts at Stream Hatchet.”

Cox replaces hospitality and technology industry veteran Steve Shoemaker, who has successfully completed his work in restructuring the company. “Steve has done a tremendous job leading the company to focus on its core esports racing and data analytics assets while reducing its overhead cost structure and moving the company towards profitability. We would like to thank Steve for his efforts in positioning the company for its next phase of growth and wish him well in his next endeavour,” said Board member Bryan Reyhani.

About Millennial Esports Corp.
Millennial Esports Corp. (MEC) recently restructured its business and leadership team. MEC now focuses exclusively on two areas – esports racing and esports data provision. With publishing, IP, content, and data expertise in its portfolio, combined with a new board and management team, MEC is ready to lead the rush to profitability in the esports industry.

MEC aims to revolutionise esports racing and the racing gaming genre via its industry-leading gaming studio Eden Games (Lyon France) which focuses on mobile racing games and its unique motorsport IP, including World’s Fastest Gamer (created and managed by wholly-owned subsidiary IDEAS+CARS, Silverstone UK).

Building on the leading position of Stream Hatchet (a Barcelona, Spain-based wholly-owned subsidiary) MEC provides robust esports data and management information to brands, sponsors, and industry leaders. This data allows the esports industry to use this data to monetize the huge number of eyeballs in the gaming and esports space.

SOURCE Millennial Esports Corp.


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: “The Godfather of Esports Racing” Takes Top Step at Millennial Esports

Continue Reading

News

TOM HORN GAMING Content Available In Portugal

Published

on

Reading Time: 1 minute

 

The award-winning, Malta-based outfit is set to expand its business reach into the regulated Portuguese market after the supplier has secured a certification to supply its content to operators in this jurisdiction.

The supplier’s Portuguese offering includes its highly popular titles such as 243 Crystal Fruits, Frozen Queen, or one of the latest additions Sherlock. A Scandal in Bohemia among many others. Tom Horn Gaming will now be able to work with both its existing and new customers who are licensed in Portugal.

Ondrej Lapides, CEO at Tom Horn Gaming commented on yet another milestone in the company’s growth strategy: ‘We have been massively pushing into new regulated markets worldwide and the Portuguese certification ticks yet another box to set our foot firmly in a market with huge business potential. We want as many people as possible to enjoy our games and we look forward to exploring more new ground in Portugal going forward.’

Currently, Tom Horn is compliant to supply its gaming products to operators in the UK, Lithuania, Alderney, Serbia, Belgium, Gibraltar, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, with a multiple new jurisdictions to follow suit.


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: TOM HORN GAMING Content Available In Portugal

Continue Reading

News

Betfred USA and Elite Casino Resorts Sign Agreement for Iowa Sports Betting Operations

Published

on

Betfred USA and Elite Casino Resorts Sign Agreement for Iowa Sports Betting OperationsReading Time: 2 minutes

 

World’s largest privately-owned retail bookmaker moves into US market in partnership with Elite Casino Resorts in Iowa.

 

Betfred, the world’s largest privately-owned retail book maker, and premier gaming and resort destination operator, Elite Casino Resorts have executed a technology and operations agreement for Sports Wagering for their Iowa customers.

Subject to regulatory approval Betfred will be offering Elite Casino Resort customers on premise, online and mobile wagering with a full suite of managed products which includes BI/Analytics, Anti-Fraud, Trading, Compliance/GDPR, Customer Support, Payments and Marketing, as well as managed trading operations support. On July 11, 2019, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved Betfred Sports Iowa, LLC as an Out of State Vendor for Grand Falls Casino Resort, LLC.

With over 50 years of market leading experience in the sports betting industry, as reflected in the over 1,600 retail stores in the United Kingdom, Betfred seeks to bring a best in class sports wagering experience to the customers of Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort in Larchwood, IA. Said Dan Kehl, CEO of Elite Casino Resorts, “We are excited to offer our guests another world-class product.  With Betfred, Grand Falls Casino and Resort will be the best place in Iowa for sports betting at our casino and on a safe and secure platform.”

Fred Done, Chief Executive and co-founder of Betfred said, “I’m delighted to partner with Elite Casino Resorts in Iowaand we look forward to working with our new partners and sharing our joint expertise in what is a very exciting opportunity and market for Betfred.”

Betfred has partnered with SCCG Management in Las Vegas, led by its Principal Partner, Stephen Crystal, to represent the company in the US Native American and Non-Tribal gaming market development. SCCG is an internationally respected management consultancy focused on global sports betting, esports and the casino entertainment industries.

 

ABOUT ELITE CASINO RESORTS:
Elite Casino Resorts currently owns and operates three premier gaming and resort destinations in Iowa. The Kehl Family of Dubuque, IA, majority owners of Elite Casino Resorts, have been pioneers in Iowa gaming, awarded the first riverboat gaming operator’s license in Iowa on April 1, 1990 for the Dubuque Casino Belle, the first American-flagged vessel to offer gambling cruises in the United States.

ABOUT BETFRED:
The company was founded by brothers Fred and Peter Done who started with just one shop in Salford in 1967. Back then Betfred differentiated itself by offering excellent customer value and excellent service and those principles are still at the heart of the business now. Operating across multiple gaming channels including 1600 retail stores, Online & Mobile, positions the company as a leading gaming technology vendor. Built over years of experience providing industry leading in-person and digital betting services, Betfred is poised for an expansion into the American market through SCCG Management. Headquartered in Warrington in the United Kingdom. Betfred have an extensive sponsorship portfolio including the World Snooker Championship, in golf the British Masters, World Matchplay Darts, Rugby League’s Super League and Betfred is the Official Bookmaker of Royal Ascot.

ABOUT SCCG:
SCCG specializes in the investment in and development of worldwide brands, governmental and regulatory management support, intellectual property, and strategic business development within international land-based casinos, sports wagering, internet gambling, gaming, esports and entertainment markets.

 

Source: SCCG Management, LLC


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Betfred USA and Elite Casino Resorts Sign Agreement for Iowa Sports Betting Operations

Continue Reading

Trending

%d bloggers like this: