Betsson AB has reported consecutive ‘best ever’ quarters, as group leadership looks forward to the FIFA World Cup to close an anticipated record-breaking 2022.
Publishing its Q3 trading update, Betsson generated group revenues of €200m, up 18% on 2021 results of €170m. Headline growth sees year-to-date revenues stand at €556m (YTD2021: €500m).
Period trading was bolstered by the early start of the European football season, which helped the group’s Sportsbook unit achieve the milestone of +€1bn in total wagers across all markets.
Benefitting from an “all-time high sportsbook turnover and an above-average margin”, the sportsbook unit recorded peak Q3 revenues of €62m (+45%) – helping increase the division’s group revenue contribution to 31%.
Matched against tough like-for-like comparatives, Betsson’s casino unit continued its growth momentum as revenues amounted to €135m, up 8% on corresponding 2021 results of €125m.
Group leadership hailed the technical capacity of the casino unit that “delivered 260 new casino games during Q3, 25 of which came with a period of exclusivity for Betsson’s brands.”
Pontus Lindwall, Group CEO, commented: “We saw a continued positive development during the third quarter with high growth and profitability for the Group as a whole. Betsson reported new records for revenue and operating profit, driven by both sports betting and casino.”
“The organic growth was 35% compared to the corresponding quarter last year, again generated mainly by the regions Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA)”
A breakdown of geographic performance reflected Lindwall’s statement, as CEECA markets generated Q3 revenues of €78m (+48%), trading as the group’s largest revenue-generating territory segment (39%).
CEECA growth was attributed to strong growth in the Baltic markets of Estonia and Lithuania, alongside the central European markets of Greece and Croatia.
Elsewhere, Betsson continues its strong South American momentum, headlined by a 59% revenue increase in its LatAm portfolio to €39m (Q32021: €24m).
Of strategic importance, Betsson cited that its South American online portfolio now features the two mass-market localised brands of Big Bola Mexico and ColBet Colombia that will drive performance.
CEECA and LatAm growth helped Betsson overcome continued headwinds in western Europe where revenue performance decreased by 29% to €25m as the group continued to register declines in the Netherlands.
“Betsson continues to deliver on the growth strategy, which is based on geographic expansion and diversification, and in August an online casino offering was launched on the regulated market in Mexico.”
“This is a soft launch so far, but marketing will increase during the fourth quarter and especially during 2023 and we see considerable potential for this market in the long term given the size of the economy, the population, and the low level of online gaming penetration in the country.”
Q3 bottom-line results saw Betsson register corporate EBITDA of €49m, up 19% on comparative 2021 results of €41m, as period operating income stood at €38.5m (+21%).
However, YTD comparatives see Betsson report a 2% EBITDA decrease to €121m, reflectinga lower group operating margin of 21%, matched against YTD2021’s 24%.
Q3 operating expenses totalled €95m (Q3 2021: €78m) – as “Betsson increased marketing investments during the quarter to increase brand awareness ahead of the World Cup in football that takes place in the fourth quarter.”
“Betsson’s business has historically been relatively unaffected by the general business cycle and so far, we have not seen any signs of weaker demand due to the general macroeconomic situation,” Lindwall concluded.
“We are excited as we look forward to the rest of the fourth quarter and the World Cup in football, which has good chance of becoming the biggest sports event ever for Betsson”