LeoVegas reports strong Q3 despite facing ‘greater regulatory complexity’

Mobile gaming group LeoVegas has reported a strong performance during Q3, with revenues increasing by 12%, despite the group continuing to face a ‘difficult-to-navigate’ regulatory environment.

Publishing its quarterly report for the period 1 July – 30 September 2019, the group noted an increase in revenues from €78.6m in 2018 to €88.2m, while EBIDTA jumped from €8.96m to €12.75m. 

LeoVegas noted a strong performance across key markets including Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Italy, while its UK-facing Royal Panda brand had performed “poorly” in the market as a result ‘challenging’ regulatory headwinds.

The group also revealed that business has been affected by its decision to not apply for a gaming licence in the recently re-regulated Swiss market, which ceased operations on 1 July. 

CEO Gustaf Hagman commented on the results: “We continued to show progress during the third quarter in a difficult-to-navigate environment and generated double-digit growth in both sales and operating profit.

“Greater regulatory complexity in several of our main markets has given rise to certain short-term challenges but is also raising the barriers to succeed in the sector which benefit established companies.

“Growth was favourable during the period in most of our markets, including Sweden where we are gaining market shares, but also in key markets such as Finland, Denmark and Italy. The UK is profitable at Group level but remains challenging, where Royal Panda in particular had poorer performance during the quarter,” said Hagman.

“We chose to not apply for a licence in Switzerland, where we stopped accepting business on July 1, based on commercial rationale.”

Net Gross Revenue from locally regulated markets was recorded as 50%, up from 35%t in Q3 2018, the operator said. However, LeoVegas noted that its number of new depositing customers fell, however, down four per cent to 135,019 while returning depositing customers jumped 12 per cent to nearly 200,000.

Considering its home market of Sweden, LeoVegas addressed its return to the market after gaining a five year licence for the market. The group plans to ‘look positively’ on the Swedish Authority’s recent crackdown on unlicensed operators, with hopes of continuing to grow both its customer base.

Hagman continued: “Our returning customers in Sweden are at all-time high, which is proof that our focus on the product and customer experience coupled with a commitment to responsible gaming is paying off in a regulated environment.

“We estimate that channelisation of online casino in Sweden is far below the Swedish Gambling Authority’s goal of 90%. We therefore look positively upon the fact that the Gambling Authority to a greater extent has begun prioritising measures to curb unlicensed actors.”

Looking further afield. LeoVegas has also boosted its presence internationally having launched operations in Japan and Spain. Hagman added: “Thus far during the year LeoVegas has launched operations in five new markets, where Japan is the most recent addition. We want to especially highlight the launch in Spain, which so far has exceeded our expectations. The online growth in Spain is considerable, and we are highly confident that Spain can become one of our key markets.”

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