‘Disruptive factors’ see Stride Gaming downgrade revenue forecast

The London AIM-listed Stride Gaming, which operates a number of online bingo and casino brands, today warned that net gaming revenue for the six months to February 28 will be around five per cent lower than expected.

In a statement this morning, the company said: “The board expects to report NGR for the six-month period ended February 28, 2019, approximately five per cent lower than expected, reflecting greater disruption arising from fiscal and regulatory changes implemented in the second half of calendar year 2018.

“Positively, the board sees encouraging signs that the impact of these disruptive factors have now been largely absorbed and the business model is adjusting accordingly. Whilst the board does not expect to recover the first half revenue shortfall through trading in the second half, [it] is confident that its strategy of leveraging the group’s infrastructure and proprietary technology to migrate more mass market, recreational bingo and casino customers onto its higher margin proprietary platform is robust and will deliver strong, long-term, cash-backed value for shareholders.”

Stride, whose Daub Alderney subsidiary was fined £7.1m by the UK Gambling Commission last year, will report its results for the six months to February 28 in May

The company said it expects to report a strong performance from its ‘Stride Together’ B2B joint venture and “is encouraged by additional new joint venture opportunities,” although these are not detailed.

“Trading was testing as we adjusted to the new paradigm of the UK’s current fiscal and regulatory environment”

Stride has also increased its technology and marketing investment in Passion Gaming, in which it has a 51 per cent share, and now expects to report incremental costs of around £400,000 for this part of the group.

Eitan Boyd, CEO of Stride Gaming, said: “In common with the rest of the industry, the period to end of February 2019 proved to be unusually busy for the group.

“Trading was testing as we adjusted to the new paradigm of the UK’s current fiscal and regulatory environment, however we continue to invest in our proprietary technology, product offering and content which provides us with a strong foundation from which to adapt to these changes,” he said.

“We are now well advanced with our review of strategic options to maximise value for shareholders. We will make a future announcement when appropriate.”

Those ‘strategic options’ are rumoured to include the possibility of selling Stride.