Svenska Spel focuses on digitisation to mitigate Cosmopol hurt

The enforced closure of Sweden’s Casino Cosmopol venues continues to disrupt Svenska Spel trading, as the state-owned operator reported a 14% decline in group Q4 net gaming revenues to SEK 2,212 million (Q4 2019: 2,247 million). 

Svenska Spel has predicted that if Casino Cosmopol venues are to remain closed for a further quarter, it will face a SEK 250 million hit on corporate revenues.

Recurring casino venue closure costs, combined with further restriction to its ‘Vegas’ arcade halls, saw Svenska Spel report an 11% decline in Q4 operating profits to SEK 690 million – down from SEK 775 million in Q4 2019.

Following a review of its strategy to overcome Covid headwinds, Svenska Spel will ‘reorganise’ its Casino Cosmopol unit which the company stated would ‘affect more than 200 employees’.

Despite continuing to absorb significant shocks to its land-based casino operations, Svenska Spel has expressed confidence in its long-term commercial strategy as the firm benefits from its revamped digital platforms.

Svenska Spel reported a ‘record-breaking’ Christmas sales period for its lottery division, in which 48% of sales were processed through its digital services- up from 34% in 2019.

Reporting on its full-year activities, Svenska Spel stressed ‘hard comparatives’ against previous years performance, as the state-owned enterprise absorbed SEK 441 million(€45 million) in operating losses related to its closed Cosmopol units.

Despite its casino impairment, Svenska Spel delivered group operating profits at SEK 2,395 million, representing a 3% decline when compared to 2019’s full-year figure of SEK 2,466 million 

Svenska Spel achieved its social responsibility objectives, contributing a further SEK 455 million corporate profits to Swedish charities, as its 2020 contributions to Swedish good causes totalled SEK 1.8 billion – a new company record.   

“We have good profitability for the Group and strengthen the operating margin for both the quarter and the full year 2020, despite the fact that our physical casinos have been closed for three quarters,” commented Patrik Hofbauer, President and Group CEO of Svenska Spel.

“As in the previous quarter, revenues for our Sport & Casino and Tur business areas are increasing.

“This shows strength and stability that two out of three business areas deliver growth despite the fact that they are also affected by covid-19 in the form of temporary gaming responsibility measures and reduced sales in stores.” 

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