Better Collective AS has reiterated its 2023 revenue expectations after reporting a ‘record’ trading performance during the second quarter, having followed up the three-month period with a series of expansions.
The Stockholm-listed igaming media group reported revenue of €78m, a 39% increase on €56m the year prior, alongside EBITDA growth of 135% to €29m (€12m), with a margin of 37%.
Headline results were bolstered by a 32% increase in new depositing customers to 500,000, driving the uptick in revenue and in turn generating a significant 54% uptick in operating profit from €9.6m to €20.7m.
The group undertook a review of its full-year 2023 financial targets In June, revising revenue expectations to €315m-€325m, which would mark growth of 3% on 2022 full year revenue.
Jesper Søgaard, Co-Founder & CEO, said: “Q2 turned out to be an exceptional quarter with strong growth building on the momentum generated in previous quarters. This was driven by a great performance across the group, highlighting the Americas and our media partnerships as key factors.
“Driven by successful acquisitions and a strong team to execute on our strategy, I am pleased with the progress we are making towards our vision to become the leading digital sports media group.”
Operationally, a notable highlight for Better Collective during the quarter was the acquisition of Skycon, which expanded the scope of the group’s digital advertising and paid media capacities.
In his statement, Søgaard remarked that the integration of Skycon into the company’s Paid Media division was ‘seamless’, adding that he expects the brand to ‘continue to deliver further growth opportunities’.
Addressing geography, Better Collective highlighted North and South America as being key areas of focus, having opened an office in Rio de Janeiro on the latter as it seeks to adopt its European formula to a new and emerging market.
Further North, the group has continued to make investments which Søgaard believes are already paying off, as its EBITDA margin for the region changed from a negative figure last year to a positive 33%.
On South America, he remarked: “We have spent more than a decade developing and implementing this formula in Europe and executed it successfully in North America.
“During the first half of 2023, focus was on establishing a strong local presence in the South American region by leveraging our global expertise and resources.
“We are now working to put together a local team that can excite sports fans through premium content and engaging communities.”
Back in Europe, the UK White Paper was a significant development for Better Collective and European firms as whole with interests in the British betting and gaming market.
Søgaard reiterated his long-held confidence in Better Collective’s UK prospects in the aftermath of ‘long-awaited’ proposals for regulatory reform, and expected changes to have minimal impact on the firm’s business in the country.
“Better Collective welcomes the long-awaited proposed initiatives with a stronger focus on safer gambling,” he remarked. “Given the proactive compliance measures already taken, the proposed measures are estimated to have zero to limited financial impact on the Better Collective.”
Year-to-date, Better Collective sees its corporate revenues stand at €166m, up 35% on YTD2022 comparative results of €124m. The media group’s commercial make-up is made of “44% revenue share, 40% CPA, 5% subscription deals and 5% other income”.
Of significance, Better Collective underscored a doubling in cash-flow from operating activities to €67m, generated during H1 trading.
H1 trading saw the media group book total operating costs of €104m (YTD2022: €88m). A breakdown of expenses saw Better Collective accrue €49m in “paid media and direct costs related to media partnerships”.
Further primary operating costs saw Better Collective spend €42.6m on personnel costs and increase its corporate headcount by 13% to 966 employees.
Post quarterly trading saw revenue continue to climb 39% year-on-year in July to reach €23m (€14m), buoyed by the signing of new agreements and completion of acquisitions, notably Playmaker Capital and a range of Swedish websites in the case of the latter.
YTD EBITDA (excluding special items) increased by 75% to €62m, results reflecting an improved operating margin of 37% (YTD2022: 23%). Closing its H1 accounts, Better Collective’s YTD net income stands at €29m, up 44% on YTD results of €20.8m.
Moving into H2, Better Collective consolidated accounts detailed a €50m expense allocated to the acquisition of Skycon.
“Our commitment to delivering long-term success over here and now gratification has resulted in solid Q2 performance,” Søgaard concluded.
“Being able to fuel an already strong momentum while delivering good performances reflects all of my colleagues’ dedication, laser focus and hard work.”