Bet-at-home maintains 2020 outlook as regulatory headwinds loom

bet-at-home AG has maintained its full-year 2020 corporate guidance, despite undertaking significant changes to its business strategy to mitigate COVID-19 circumstances and incurring DACH market headwinds.

Publishing its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2020, bet-at-home posted net betting and gaming revenues of €49.1 million, down from €58.7 million in H1 2019 which it stated was ‘due to legal restrictions in individual markets’.

Mirroring industry trends impacted by COVID-19 circumstances, bet-at-home EBITDA fell from €21.3 million in H1 2019 to €15.8 million. During Q2 2020 trading, EBITDA amounted to €6.8 million, down from €8.6 million in Q2 2019.

Bet-at-home stated that the ‘impact of the pandemic became noticeable from mid-March 2020, when international sporting events were canceled or postponed’. This was offset by an ‘unchanged’ demand for alternative betting markets and marginal sports, with a number of customers switching to betting on esports.

The company said: “With a step-by-step resumption of playing activities in the national European football leagues in May 2020 and the postponement of important events such as the Champions League and Europa League, the usually low-revenue summer months are positively influenced. In addition, the resumption of international tennis tournaments is to be expected in the second half of 2020.

“The online gaming segment including casino, live casino, virtual sports and poker was not negatively affected by the pandemic.”

The postponement of the European Football Championship, which will now take place in 2021, meant that bet-at-home has cut costs in terms of marketing expenses. The operator reported that marketing expenses reached €13.6 million for the period, down from €16.7 million in H1 2019.

Despite its interim woes, the bet-at-home board maintains that the company will keep its 2020 guidance, with revenues expected to fall between €120-132 million by year-end trading.

Updating investors, bet-at-home further maintained its 2020 expected EBITDA guidance range of €23-27 million, despite acknowledging potential revenue impacts due to regulatory changes in its home market of Germany.

It added: “From the current perspective, the Management Board still expects a gross betting and gaming revenue between EUR 120 million and EUR 132 million in the financial year 2020. The decline in gross betting and gaming revenue compared to the financial year 2019 is attributable to legal restrictions in individual markets. A potential decline in revenues due to regulatory changes in Germany can currently not be estimated and is therefore not considered.

“Furthermore, the Management Board still expects EBITDA to amount between EUR 23 million and EUR 27 million for the financial year 2020.”

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