Better Collective has lauded a strong opening quarter to the year marked by record revenue, with 2021 expectations raised following the $240m acquisition of Action Network.
This became the “largest acquisition to date” for the group following the end of the year’s first quarter, and will form an “important step” on the group’s global journey, contingent on closing during Q2 2021.
Total group revenue is now expected to exceed €180m for the year (previous estimate was >€160m), while operational profit is anticipated to top €55m – up from €50m – and organic growth projected to exceed 25 per cent (previously more than 20 per cent).
Jesper Søgaard, co-founder and CEO of Better Collective, said: “Better Collective will continue to execute our strategy of becoming the leading sports betting media group.
“The Action Network acquisition is an important step on this path, yet we remain committed to continuing the industry consolidation through M&A activities and our current pipeline is strong.”
He added: “I look forward to an exciting time of knowledge sharing and strengthening of our common commercial position, in a year of big sports events, not least Euro 2020. We hope that fans and spectators will be able to meet again at the stadiums to enjoy the games.”
During a first quarter of the year which saw Better Collective up its ownership to 90 per cent in Mindway AI, revenue grew by 86 per cent to €38.83m (2020: €20.92m). Publishing revenue increased 24 per cent and amounted to €23.87m, with paid media soaring to €14.95m (2020: €1.69m).
EBITDA before special items grew 46 per cent to €13.19m (2020: €9m), with new depositing customers rising 54 per cent to in the region of 180,000, and net profit up 77.4 per cent to €8.3m (2020: €4.6m). Costs more than doubled to €25.6m (2020: €11.8m), driven by acquisitions.
Søgaard continued by taking a look at regulatory developments that could potentially drive further expansion for the group throughout the year: “With the US as one of the main drivers these years, we are off to a strong start in the newly regulated states of Michigan and Virginia, confirming the value of having strong brands and assets in place when a new market opens,” he said.
“Collectively, the Americas offer high potential in additional US states regulating as well as promising developments in both Canada and LatAm countries. In Europe, we are following the German regulatory process closely, and we look forward to a regulated market in the Netherlands by October 2021.
“Sweden is expected to lift its temporary restrictions, put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in November 2021. On March 31, 2021, Better Collective invested further in the Swedish sports betting market by acquiring the online sports betting media Rekatochklart.com. The acquisition is a perfect supplement to our current business and a strategically important step for us in strengthening our position in Sweden.”