Gamesys Group praised its recent acquisition of JPJ for £490m in September which led to its increase in total gaming revenues for the six months ending June 30, 2020, whilst also contributing to its organic growth of the group’s online gaming segment.

Highlighting the growth of online gaming during the COVID-19 pandemic, which rose by 27 per cent, Gamesys also recorded a significant increase in gaming revenue for its UK operations, jumping from £78m in H1 2019 to £197.4m in 2020, a 16 per cent increase. Asia saw an increase from £51.5m in 2019 to £98.9m in 2020.

European revenues fell by four per cent, however, the group reported a steady growth in Spain despite further ‘restrictions on advertising and bonusing’ due to the virus outbreak. Gamesys went on to further highlight a strong performance in Germany, whilst acknowledging that Nordic challenges led the company ‘investing significantly in customer acquisition in this region at the present time’.

The rest of the world, including New Jersey, saw an increased revenue by 37 per cent for the six months ending June 30 2020.

Commenting on the results, Lee Fenton, CEO, Gamesys Group, stated: “It has been very pleasing to oversee another strong half-year performance, with reported gaming revenues doubling across the group year-on-year. 

“Our strong brands, operational control and proprietary technology have allowed us to drive growth in established markets such as the UK, while also delivering strong results in fast-growing markets in Asia and ROW.”

Gamesys saw a decrease of £30m in non-current assets since December 31 of last year which it states to largely relate to the ‘amortisation’ of the group’s intangible assets. The company claims that the £14.3m increase in current assets, excluding a cash increase of £35.7m, since December 31, 2019, is due to a £17.1m increase in player deposits which was driven by strong results achieved during the six months ending June 30, 2020.

Fenton continued: “At the heart of this has been our commitment to responsible gambling, which was vital during a period in which many of our players were living in lockdown. As a result, we took decisive action during the period to enhance our player protection, both through investing in new capabilities and resources, and also ceasing certain marketing activities. 

“We believe that this enlarged and highly engaged customer base will be key to driving sustainable growth in the future, positioning us well for the exciting opportunities ahead.”

The company also saw a £24.4m increase in current liabilities with the group highlighting the higher accounts payable and accrued liabilities due to an increase in direct costs along with higher player liabilities. The £26.1m decrease in non-current liabilities relates to a £40m payment made on the group’s GBP term facility.

Neil Goulden, executive chair, Gamesys, commented: “The group has produced a strong first half financial performance despite the clear and striking challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all our employees across the group during this difficult time, without which we would not have been able to deliver a safe and enjoyable experience for our customers. 

“Having led the group through a transformational period – one that has seen us relist on the London Stock Exchange; subsequently obtain a premium listing; successfully merge with and rebrand as Gamesys; become a FTSE-250 constituent; and now introduce a progressive dividend policy – I believe the time is right for me to return to the position of non-executive chair, which will be effective from October 1, 2020. 

“Following the Gamesys acquisition in September 2019, we now have an exceptionally strong executive team in place and have successfully integrated the two businesses and delivered strong, sustainable results. The business is in very good hands and I look forward to supporting Lee and his team going forward.”

Adjusted EBITDA also increased during the period, rising by 19 per cent from £87.2m to £103.9m while net income rose by 68 per cent to £68.1m.

Average active players per month grew to 640,436 in the twelve months to June 30, 2020, an increase of 14 per cent year-on-year.