LeoVegas AB Q4: Year-end report 2020
“Yet another record year for LeoVegas with a strong close”
– Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO
FOURTH QUARTER 2020: 1 OCTOBER - 31 DECEMBER
- Revenue increased by 13% to EUR 98.4 m (87.1). Organic growth in local currencies was 14%.
- Adjusted EBITDA was EUR 11.5 m (9.2), corresponding to an adjusted EBITDA margin of 11.7% (10.6%). Reported EBITDA includes EUR -3.5 m (5.3) in items affecting comparability.
- The number of depositing customers was 461,983 (372,032), an increase of 24%.
- Adjusted earnings per share were EUR 0.08 (0.06).
EVENTS DURING THE QUARTER
- LeoVegas was the first company in the gaming industry to offer payments via Open Banking.
- During the quarter the Group’s unique and record-large jackpot was launched under the name LeoJackPot.
- LeoVegas secured long-term and diversified financing through a combination of a bank credit facility (RCF of EUR 40 m) and a bond issue of SEK 500 m under a total framework of SEK 800 m.
- During the quarter, LeoVegas repurchased its own shares for approximately EUR 5 million.
- Ahead of the forthcoming regulation in Germany, a number of changes were implemented. This led to lower revenue during the quarter, with the greatest effect during the month of December.
- LeoVegas has changed its interpretation of the calculation of gaming taxes in Denmark for earlier periods. This resulted in a self-correction, and a one-off cost of EUR 3.5 m has been charged against EBITDA.
- Decision has been taken to migrate the Royal Panda brand to the Group’s proprietary technical platform.
EVENTS AFTER THE END OF THE QUARTER
- Preliminary revenue in January amounted to EUR 32.5 m (29.9), representing growth of 9%.
- The Board of Directors proposes a raised dividend totalling SEK 1.60 per share (1.40), an increase of 14%, to be paid out on four occasions during the year.
COMMENT FROM GUSTAF HAGMAN - GROUP CEO
STRONG CLOSE TO 2020
LeoVegas concluded the record year 2020 with its strongest fourth quarter ever. And we did this despite frequent changes to the gaming requirements in our markets in addition to finding ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic. I am proud of our ability to quickly adapt to changed conditions through a high capacity for innovation at the same time as we are building an increasingly solid and diversified business. It is a demonstration of strength that LeoVegas delivered adjusted EBITDA growth of 25% for the full year while the operating cash flow increased almost 90 %. This was achieved despite maintaining a high investment pace with launches of new brands, new markets and product improvements.
During the fourth quarter we increased our revenue organically by 14%. Growth was mainly driven by a continued rise in depositing customers, which grew 24% to a new record level. Adjusted EBITDA increased by 25% during the quarter to EUR 11.5 m. Reported EBITDA was charged with a one-off provision of EUR 3.5 m related to a changed interpretation of the calculation of gaming taxes in Denmark for earlier periods.
With the exceptions of Sweden and the UK, our core markets showed high double-digit growth during the quarter. Above all I want to highlight Italy, which has now become one of our five biggest markets. During the quarter we launched the Pink Casino brand in Canada. The launch is part of our multibrand strategy, where we are utilising existing resources and our technical platform to expand through scale.
In the German market, LeoVegas has implemented a number of changes ahead of the forthcoming licence system in July 2021. As expected, this affected revenue during the period. Operators in the market are acting differently with respect to the new restrictions, and at present necessary clarity is lacking in the ongoing transitional period, which unfortunately has led to a skewed competitive situation until the licence system has been fully implemented.
TECHNOLOGY AND PRODUCTS
During the quarter we carried out and launched several major projects and innovations. In particular I want to highlight our new exclusive jackpot – LeoJackpot – where our customers can win over SEK 50 m directly from their smartphones. We were also first in the industry to offer payments via Open Banking. This will benefit LeoVegas and our customers in many ways, including through more secure and faster payments and lower transaction costs.
During the quarter we began the migration of Royal Panda to our joint technical platform. As a result, in 2021 all brands will be operated on the same platform. The migration will lead to cost synergies such as lower platform and product costs and a more efficient organisation. The decision has also resulted in impairment of intangible assets attributable to Royal Panda’s platform, which was charged against EBIT in the amount of EUR 1.9 m.
FINANCING AND INVESTMENTS
At the end of the year we secured the Group’s long-term financing needs through the combination of a renewed bank credit facility of EUR 40 m and a newly issued corporate bond of SEK 500 m.
Stable financing combined with a strong balance sheet gives us a solid base for continued expansion, both through organic initiatives and potential acquisitions. During the fourth quarter we carried out share repurchases for approximately EUR 5 m. In addition, the Board of Directors proposes an increase in the dividend to SEK 1.60 per share.
COMMENTS ON FOURTH QUARTER
Revenue for the month of January amounted to EUR 32.5 m (29.9), corresponding to annual growth of 9%. In January revenue was fully impacted by the changes carried out in Germany ahead of the forthcoming regulation.
On the tailwinds of a strong 2020 we are now looking forward to a year with many exciting growth initiatives and an even stronger customer offering.
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 50 69 21 80, UK: +44 (0) 20 71 92 80 00, US: +1 63 15 10 74 95, Confirmation code: 6385386 or join at the web https://edge.media-server.com/mmc/p/hr4rjg4u
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 11th of February 2021.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
Gustaf Hagman, President and CEO
+46 (0) 8 410 367 66, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stefan Nelson, CFO
+356 993 942 68, email@example.com
Philip Doftvik, Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Finance
+46 73 512 07 20, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT LEOVEGAS MOBILE GAMING GROUP
LeoVegas vision and position is ”King of Casino”. The global group LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group offers games on Casino, Live Casino, Bingo and Sport. The parent company LeoVegas AB (publ.) is located in Sweden and its operations are mainly located in Malta. The company’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. www.leovegasgroup.com