Positive momentum has continued for Kindred Group, with the online gambling operator reporting sustained high customer activity across European markets, as well as suggesting that long-term investments are continuing to pay off in the US.
The comments come in the group’s Q1 2021 interim report, which itself is published a day after Kindred documented a decrease in the share of revenue that the group derives from harmful gambling to 3.9 per cent
Gross winnings revenue for the group during the January to March period surged 41 per cent to £352.6m (2019: £249.7m), with gross profit up 49.47 per cent from 2020’s £140.7m to £210.3m.
On a product segment basis, Kindred’s ‘casino and games’ division recorded its best performing quarter to date in terms of active players, turnover and revenue, finishing 56 per cent ahead year-on-year.
Sports betting increased 30 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2020, driven by a busy sports calendar and spacing between matches, which the firm says produced less cannibalisation of bets.
Growth in these aforementioned segments also translated into the ‘poker and other products’ division, which increased by 23 per cent from the previous year, with France leading the way for overall growth.
Revenue in Western Europe rose 58 per cent to £240.9m (2020: £152.9m), with Kindred saying that its main markets, including the UK, Belgium, France and Netherlands, performed well despite weaker sports betting margins
The Nordics scored a one per cent rise to £67.8m, with continued compliance with COVID-19 measures implemented by the Swedish government, such as deposit limits and further restrictions to bonus offers, bringing a drop in casino revenues. This was driven by a decline in average revenue per user, with casino active customers increasing.
Central, Eastern and Southern Europe is up 33 per cent to £29m (2020: £21.8m), with Romania, where Kindred operates the Unibet and Vlad Cazino brands, the biggest contributor. Revenue in the ‘other regions’ segment finished up with a 91 per cent revenue increase to £14.9m (2020: £7.8m).
Profit before and after tax came in at £85.3m (2020: £2.4m) and £72.6m (2020: £1m), respectively, with the number of active customers coming in at an all-time high of 1.81 million (2020: 1.53 million), as the company continued to benefit from a migration to the online ecosystem.
EBITDA for the quarter was £97.6m (2020: £32.5m), with high marketing investment levels, in line with Kindred’s internal growth strategy, contributing to a negative US underlying EBITDA of £6.3m for the quarter.
“The positive momentum from 2020 has continued into 2021 across our markets and product segments,” stated Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Kindred.
“We ended 2020 with a new all-time high in active customers and I’m pleased to see this trajectory continuing into the first quarter of 2021 with a new active customer record of over 1.8 million. It’s particularly encouraging as we look forward to an exciting year of sport ahead.”
Through the first 25 days of April group wide average daily gross winnings revenue was 52 per cent higher year-on-year, while in the US the figure is 16 per cent ahead.
Tjärnström added: “The second quarter of 2021 has started off well with the average daily gross winnings revenue for the first 25 days in April being 52 per cent (55 per cent in constant currency) higher than the full second quarter of 2020.
“The coming months leading up to what will be one of the largest betting events in history – the UEFA Euro 2020 – will be very exciting and I know the team is busy preparing.
“The Kindred team have always managed to deliver a safe, exciting and memorable customer experience during major events, and I am fully confident this year’s events will be no exception.”