Betsson AB CEO Pontus Lindwall

Betsson rewards investors €89m dividends to celebrate Jubilee 2023 results 

Betsson AB has proclaimed a second successive year of record-breaking financial results and KPIs as it celebrates its 60th year in business.

Publishing its full-year 2023 results this morning, the Stockholm-listed gambling group’s corporate revenues stood at €948m, up 22% on FY2022 results of €777m.

Year trading saw the firm register a 60% increase in EBITDA to €262m (FY2022: €173m) as Betsson’s net income profits increased to €173m, up 44% on FY2022 comparative results of €115m.

Group CEO Pontus Lindwall branded 2023 as a “Jubilee Year” for Betsson, in which the company delivered on numerous strategic objectives to strengthen the firm’s product offering, manage risks through geographic diversification, and create conditions for continued profitable growth with an increased share of revenues from locally regulated markets.

A breakdown of Q4 trading saw Betsson achieve online casino revenues of €182m, up 25% on Q4 2022 comparatives of €146m.

The continued growth of the casino unit was attributed to strong localized offers and Betsson expanding its product offering with 325 new games, of which 20 came with a period of exclusivity for its brand portfolio.

Casino growth helped Betsson offset tough end-of-year comparatives for its Sportsbook unit, which registered a 5% revenue decrease to €67m (Q4 2022: €70m).

Period trading saw the Sportsbook unit register its highest turnover of €1.6bn (+18%); however, unfavorable football results led to Betsson sportsbook brands registering a below-average operating margin of 6.2%.

Year-end trading saw Betsson achieve record customer engagement, as “deposits in all operating subsidiaries during the quarter were EUR 1,392.0 million (1,096.0 million), an increase of 27%.” This KPI record was achieved despite Betsson trading against Q2 2022, which was boosted by World Cup 2022 activities.

Betsson continues to register growth away from its legacy Nordic markets, as its breakdown of geographic performance detailed Q4 revenues in Central & Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA) of €106m (+25%), Western Europe €41m (+61%), and Latin America €53m (+2%).

CEECA growth was attributed to all-time-high results in Greece and robust trading in Lithuania, Estonia, and Croatia. Betsson is set to strengthen its CEECA presence with new licenses in Serbia, secured as of September 2023.

Gains in Western Europe were attributed to record growth achieved in Italy and the addition of the betFirst brand in Belgium. This growth offset continued year-on-year declines in Germany, attributed to the adjustment to market restrictions.

Growth in Latin America was slowed in comparison to 2022 trading, as a result of a sportsbook activity decrease compared with the corresponding period last year, which included World Cup trading.

Nordic results continue to be dragged by a declining performance in Sweden, in which Betsson reported lower activity in both sportsbook and casino products. However, the firm’s Nordic outlook is strengthened by robust trading in Denmark and Finland relaunching its online gambling market.

“The share of revenue from locally regulated markets continued to increase and amounted to 45.9% (34.2%) in the fourth quarter.

“We see a continued positive development where more countries introduce regulation to enable online gaming with local gaming licenses and reasonable conditions for players and operators. In 2024, Peru and Brazil are expected to introduce licensing systems for online gaming, and Betsson is preparing to apply for gaming licenses in these markets.”

For FY2023 trading, Betsson declared an operating cash flow generated from business activities of €230m as the Stockholm group’s net-cash balance stands at €60m.

The board of Betsson has proposed that €88.5m be rewarded to shareholders at the firm’s annual general meeting, via an automatic share redemption offer corresponding to €0.65 per share to be rewarded in two installments.

Pontus Lindwall concluded: “I look forward to 2024 with confidence. Betsson is well-positioned for continued value creation thanks to a strong financial position, proprietary technology, an attractive customer offering, and – above all – our employees.

“I would like to thank our employees for all their great efforts in 2023 and also extend my gratitude to our shareholders for the trust they have shown.” 

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