“Record sports betting revenue during the quarter” – Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO
SECOND QUARTER 2022: 1 APRIL–30 JUNE
- Revenue increased 1% to EUR 98.0 m (96.8).
- Excluding the Netherlands, revenue increased 9%.
- Adjusted EBITDA was EUR 9.0 m (10.6), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 9.2% (10.9).
- The number of depositing customers was 442,647 (460,697), a decrease of 4%.
- Earnings per share were EUR -0.01 (0.01) before and after dilution, while adjusted earnings per share were EUR 0.05 (0.06).
EVENTS DURING THE QUARTER
- The process concerning MGM Resorts International’s public takeover bid is proceeding and the acceptance period expires on 30 August.
- On 4 April, the gaming market was re-regulated in Ontario, Canada. LeoVegas was one of the first operators to relaunch its offer on the regulated market.
- LeoVegas has chosen to pause its expansion to New Jersey as a result of the bid from MGM. If the bid is not accepted, LeoVegas can resume the project with a short start-up period.
- LeoVegas’ AGM was carried out on 19 May 2022 where the proposed resolutions were approved.
- LeoVegas won the award “Online Casino of the Year” at the Global Gaming Awards and “Online Gaming Operator of the Year” at the International Gaming Awards.
EVENTS AFTER THE END OF THE QUARTER
- Preliminary revenue for July amounted to EUR 32.8 m (32.8), representing unchanged growth of 0% and 8% excluding the Netherlands.
- The Gambling Commission in the UK (UKGC) issued a sanction fee of GBP 1.3 m (EUR 1.6 m) to LeoVegas relating to deficiencies in procedures during the period from October 2019 to October 2020. At the time of the assessment, LeoVegas had already taken actions to improve and update procedures and processes. A provision was made as a result of the sanction fee, which was charged to EBITDA in the second quarter.
COMMENT FROM GUSTAF HAGMAN – GROUP CEO
It was an eventful quarter for the LeoVegas Group. LeoVegas was launched as one of the first operators on the newly regulated market in Ontario, Canada, and we released our first proprietary games through the gaming studio Blue Guru Games. We implemented major efficiency improvements through the automation of our CRM activities, which will also create a more individually tailored gaming experience. In the beginning of May, the US company MGM announced a takeover bid for all shares in LeoVegas. It seems likely that the bid will be accepted, which would lead to the company’s shares being delisted from Nasdaq Stockholm later in the year. Regardless of the outcome of the bid, business remains as usual and we are continuing to work relentlessly to create the industry’s premium gaming experience for our customers.
During the second quarter, the Group’s revenue grew 1%. Excluding the Netherlands, growth was 9%. During the period, 79% of our revenue was locally regulated and/or taxed. Growth of the proportion of regulated revenue is in line with our strategy and demonstrates our strength in operating in regulated markets with complex and locally adapted regulations. Adjusted EBITDA was EUR 9.0 m, which was charged during the period by items affecting comparability that were primarily attributable to the bidding process with MGM. Expenses related to the US expansion were charged to EBITDA with EUR 1.0 m. As we wrote in our previous report, we have increased marketing investments mainly connected to the re-regulation in Ontario. We also intensified initiatives in some other markets in which we noted good returns on our marketing. Our operating expenses increased during the quarter, partly driven by new recruitments in our technology organisation with the opening of two new tech hubs in Warsaw and Malaga, and partly by expenses connected to the expansion project in the US market.
We are continuing to increase our strategic focus on sport and our sportsbook-led brands Expekt and BetUK recorded record revenue during the quarter. Sports betting as a whole also recorded record revenue. We intend to enter into several football sponsorship in the near future. This is expected to provide us with a global reach to a relevant and partly new target group, and we are able to produce unique content with the clubs and their players, which should attract new customers and increase loyalty among existing customers.
Most of the main markets continue to develop well and we cannot see any signs to date that the current macro situation with high inflation and rising interest rates is impacting the habits of our players. Once again, Sweden stuck out during the quarter with strong performances for the LeoVegas and Expekt brands.
The expansion project in the US and New Jersey was paused at the end of the quarter due to the ongoing bid and the initiatives and obligations that MGM already has in the US market. The assessment is therefore that the most responsible course of action is to pause the expansion until we know whether the bid on LeoVegas will be accepted. If a launch is made possible in the future, we will be able to resume the US expansion with a short start-up period.
In April, the gaming market was re-regulated in Ontario and we relaunched the LeoVegas and Royal Panda brands. We are looking positively towards the future and have the prerequisites in place to be one of the market leaders. LeoVegas has also applied for a licence in the Netherlands and preparations are proceeding with a planned launch in the autumn.
COMMENTS ON THE THIRD QUARTER
Preliminary revenue for July amounted to EUR 32.8 m (32.8), representing unchanged growth and 8% excluding the Netherlands.
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) 856 642 651, UK: +44 (0) 333 300 0804, US: +1 631 913 1422, Confirmation code: 36743362# or join at the web https://edge.media-server.com/mmc/p/h4mff8se