Publishing its results for the second quarter, gaming content giant NetEnt posted modest year-on-year gains as new CEO Therese Hillman said she was “focused on the turnaround of NetEnt”.
Hillman said that growth in NetEnt’s southern and eastern Europe businesses went some way to mitigate weaker performance in the Nordics and in the UK.
The chief executive also said that, post PASPA, the company was keeping a close eye on the US, in the event that states beyond New Jersey regulated online casino operations.
Second-quarter revenues were up from SEK413m (€39.8m) to SEK437m (€42.1m), in the period, while EBITDA was up from SEK187m (€18m) to SEK202m (€19.5m). The EBITDA margin remained high, at 46.3 per cent – up slightly from the 45.2 per cent posted in Q2 2017.
Hillman, who took over the role of CEO less than two months ago following the sacking of Per Eriksson, said: ”During the quarter, we came up with a plan and started taking action in several areas to strengthen our customer offering, cut lead times and free up resources for new commercial projects.
“These changes are necessary for us to reassert our strong market position in online casino. I look forward to a busy autumn, focused on the turnaround of NetEnt, with improved efficiency and many new products and growth initiatives that all have players and customers in focus.”
In the first half of 2019, NetEnt’s revenues amounted to SEK867m (€83.5m), up more than 7.5 per cent year on year. Earnings (EBITDA), climbed by just under 10 per cent to SEK384m (€38m).
“These changes are necessary for us to reassert our strong market position in online casino“
In a statement, Hillman said: “We continue to see that our core markets in the Nordics and the UK are maturing, and competition has increased.
“At the same time, we continue to review our cost structure to improve scalability across the business, and we have started to see a lower pace of cost growth. We continue to target higher revenue growth than cost growth.”
Referencing Sweden’s new gambling law, Hillman said: “Our preparations ahead of the Swedish market re-regulation have intensified.
“We aim to have a broad selection of our games certified when the new licensing system starts on January 1, 2019 and work closely with our customers on all fronts to ensure a successful market entry right from the start.
“Among other things, we will present a new game concept with the launch of BerryBurst in August, which is based on player feedback and insights.
“With regards to live casino, the new product called Live Beyond Live was launched on desktop for Mr Green at the end of May. Since that we have noticed a steady increase in number of players, bets and game-win,” she said.
“In the US, we now see some positive signs after the Supreme Court decision in May that paves the way for sports betting to be legalised in New Jersey and other US states. Thanks to our presence in New Jersey, we are in a good position to enter other US states if and when they open for online casino.”