Kindred buoyed by its ‘strong year to-date’ despite Q4 headwinds


Kindred Group has disclosed its ambitions to contribute to a “sustainable gambling industry in the Netherlands” following licence submission in the country, as the gambling group reflects on “our strongest year to-date” despite enduring a challenging Q4.

Faced with significant headwinds, such as tough comparatives and a cessation of Dutch services, the firm’s headline performance was maintained despite suffering a 32.8 per cent slump in revenue through 2021’s final quarter to £364.7m (2020: £244.9m).

As a result, and with revenue in the group’s ‘casino and games’ and ‘poker and other products’ segment dropping 25 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively, the group’s underlying EBITDA decreased by 77 per cent to £27.6m (2020: £118m).

Despite the Dutch opt-out significantly impacting the results of its performance across Western Europe, with Q4 revenue down 48 per cent to £122.9m (2020: £238.3m), Kindred continues to grow its active customer base in the UK (+8 per cent) and Belgium (+9 per cent).

Elsewhere, the firm maintained its comparative performance within Scandinavian markets, achieving growth for its online casino vertical despite Swedish depositing limits being applied as a temporary COVID-19 restriction.

Western Europe accounted for 51 per cent of total Q4 group revenue, followed by the Nordics’ 31 per cent, Central, Eastern and Southern Europe with 12 per cent, and ‘other’ which contributed six per cent.

The total number of registered customers in the group’s B2C business increased to around 31.9 million (2020: 29.7 million) at 31 December 2021, with that figure having stood at over 31.4 million as of September 30, 2021.

“The final quarter of the year was impacted by normalisation of the sporting calendar following an exceptional comparative quarter in 2020, and increased competition following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, as mentioned in our Q3 2021 report,” stated Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Kindred.

“After an exceptionally low sports betting margin at the start of the quarter, it came in at 8.5 per cent after free bets for the full quarter, lower than the long-term average. Casino continues to perform well and, adjusted for the Netherlands, showed stable growth”

However, Q4 impacts did not derail Kindred’s full-year financial results, with revenue of £1.259bn up 11 per cent on corresponding FY2020 results of £1.130bn, and underlying EBITDA growing 15 per cent to £332m (2020: £288m). Kindred anticipates delivering profits after tax of £295.3m, an increase of 78 per cent from £165.2m.

Moving forward the company underlined that it would be strengthened by completing its acquisition of Relax Gaming, which it asserted would help build out and diversify its B2B services. 

“We have now truly shifted gear on our transformation into a locally regulated operator with clear ambitions for the future,” Tjärnström added.

“With the North American business in its infancy, our more mature markets in Europe and Australia have performed well during the fourth quarter. Belgium, Denmark, Finland and the UK have all delivered encouraging performance over the year.

“If we exclude the US, our markets in Europe and Australia grew revenue for the full year by 12 per cent compared to 2020 and delivered growth in underlying EBITDA of 19 per cent. This indicates the strength in our core market performance.”

Offering an update from the period up to and including February 6, 2022, average daily gross revenue increased 26 per cent, lower than the average for the full first quarter of 2021. Excluding the Netherlands, this fell in line with the past year.

“Looking ahead, we have another exciting year of sports with the Winter Olympics in progress, and the first ever Winter FIFA World Cup in November,” it was added.

“I’m also very excited about the opportunities we see as a licensed operator in the Netherlands, and our North America expansion together with the Relax team. We have now truly shifted gear on our transformation into a locally regulated operator with clear ambitions for the future.”