Betsson Group has revealed a solid first quarter of the year, as the firm lauds the re-regulated Swedish market as being integral long-term amid “solid results despite the new situation”.
Seeing revenue and operating profit be negatively impacted in the Scandinavian country, Pontus Lindwall, Betsson’s president and CEO, emphasises that “it is too early to draw any long-term conclusions”.
Lindwall however was keen to point out the advantage of having a strong geographical spread: “The adoption of the Remote Gambling Bill in the Netherlands in February was a positive milestone. It is a step forward for the Dutch market and consumers, as well as a positive development towards locally regulated revenues for Betsson.
“The operational subsidiaries have taken swift measures to be in the best position to obtain a license at the earliest possible time. The measures include adjustments to the product offering, rebranding and payment solutions.
“Whilst we have short term negative impact on revenues in the Netherlands (one contributing factor reflected in the trading update), the measures ensure a sustainable outlook for the Dutch business and are long-term investments.
“Above all, we are committed to working with the Dutch regulator and contributing positively to the objective of achieving high channelisation in minimum time in the Netherlands.”
Group revenue for the period was boosted to SEK 1.33bn, a ten per cent increase from the previous year’s SEK 1.21bn, with all regions reported as showing growth for both the casino and sportsbook verticals, as contrasted to the same quarter last year.
The former also came in with a ten per cent increase to SEK 1bn (2018: SEK 922m), with sportsbook revenue rising 13 per cent from SEK 263.5m to SEK 297.8m.
Lindwall added: ”Revenue for the first quarter 2019 was SEK 1,330.6 million, an increase of 10 per cent (8 per cent organic) compared to the first quarter [of] 2018. Casino revenue increased by 10 per cent, while sportsbook increased by 13 percent in the quarter.
“The sportsbook margin was 6.3 per cent, which is lower than the eight-quarter average. The sportsbook margin differs by the outcome of various sport events.
“The operating profit (EBIT) during the first quarter was SEK 255.2m (211.4m), an increase of 21 per cent, and is equivalent to an EBIT margin of 19.2 (17.5) per cent.”