Playtech reports €73m loss in year of COVID shocks  

Playtech Plc has made significant progress with its group-wide strategic objectives during 2020 – a year in which all core business units were challenged by COVID-19. 

The FTSE250 technology group recorded full-year group revenues of €1.07 billion, down 25% on corresponding FY 2019 results of €1.4 billion, with the company noting that severe H1 headwinds impacted the performance of its B2B and B2C units.

A breakdown of performance saw Playtech’s B2B division record an 11% decline in revenues to £495 million (FY2019: £554m), primarily attributed to Europe’s lockdown which led to a 51% decline in retail revenues, alongside the 28% decline of revenues from Asian contracts.

2020 trading saw Playtech B2B units record higher operating costs of £369 million (FY2019: £339m) due to the company ‘aggressively investing’ in its US and LATAM strategic expansion.

Absorbing higher operating costs combined with COVID-19 adjustments, Playtech B2B saw its adjusted EBITDA decrease by 41% to €125.8 million (2019: €215m).

Elsewhere, year-long COVID-19 restrictions drained the performance of Snaitech Italia (-31%), as the firm’s B2C unit recorded a 34% decline in revenues to £569 million (FY 2019: £900m)

Despite significantly reducing its B2C operating costs by 37% to €468 million, Playtech B2C declared an adjusted EBITDA decline of €128 million, down 20% on FY 2019’s €160 million.

Playtech reported that during 2020, its B2C unit registered an impairment charge totalling €41 million on its German and Austrian market activities

All-round B2B and B2C declines meant that Playtech recorded a 19% decline group-wide adjusted EBITDA of €310 million, down from €383 million in 2019.

Closing tough 2020 trading, Playtech registered adjusted post-tax profit of €27 million, down 80% on 2019 results of €137 million, with the company declaring corporate losses of €73 million (FY 2019: €56m).

For its 2021 outlook, Playtech will continue to pursue a ‘simplification of the group ’  after disposing of its casual games and Finalto financial trading businesses.

Furthermore, Playtech underlined the strengthened foundations of its core B2B gambling unit which has added more than 100 new brands to its SaaS model.

“Against a challenging backdrop, Playtech delivered a resilient financial performance in 2020 with swift management actions limiting the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on overall adjusted EBITDA,” stated Group CEO Mor Weizer.

“Playtech also made significant strategic and operational progress by adding new brands, expanding existing relationships and entering new markets. We are particularly pleased with the excellent progress we have made in the US market, launching with bet365 and Entain in 2020.

“The significant strategic and operational progress we achieved in 2020 has placed us in a strong position to capture the exciting market opportunities ahead.” 

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