Business growth concept
Image: Shutterstock

Better Collective A/S has reaffirmed its position as global gaming’s most valuable media firm following a positive start to 2024 trading.

Publishing its Q1 2024 accounts, the Stockholm and Copenhagen joint-listed firm maintained corporate revenue growth at €95m, up 8 per cent from Q1 2023’s €88m

Underpinning growth, like-for-like recurring revenues amounted to €53m (reflecting 57 per cent of group revenues), up 14 per cent from Q1 2023 results of €47m, as Better Collective’s Q1 outperformed the inflated period comparatives of FIFA Qatar World Cup 2022 trading.

Q1 trading saw Better Collective complete its €176m acquisition of Playmaker Capital, significantly expanding the media group’s presence in South American markets. The integration of new Playmaker assets was detailed as ‘ongoing as of Q1’ and generating a revenue contribution of approximately €7m.

Period KYC’s saw Better Collective’s media portfolio net new depositing customers (NDCs) totalling 450,000, of which 77% were acquired on rev-share contracts.

In North America, where the firm has prioritised revenue share contracts over CPA deals, Better Collective registered an 8% decline in revenues to €34m (Q1 2023: €37m).

Operating profits in North America declined by 37% to €9m, as the websites of the Action Network, Yardbarker, Playmaker HQ, VegasInsider, RotoGrinders, Sportshandle, and Canada Sports Betting continue their transition to a revenue share model.

As explained: “The group continues its transition towards recurring revenue share in the North American market and saw a similar mix of NDCs as previous quarters. Revenue share income from North America grew by around 25 per cent quarter over quarter.”

Better Collective underscored the importance of executing the North American transition, highlighted by European and Rest-of-the-World (ROW) generating revenue growth of 20 per cent to €61m (Q1 2023: €50m).

Exceptional Europe and ROW performance generated operating profits of €20m, matching a period of inflated comparative activity as leadership noted “Europe & ROW are heavily exposed to recurring revenue share income models.”

Group EBITDA before special items stood at €29m, down 13 per cent from Q1 2023 results of €33m, detailed as an ‘expected outcome’ against peak comparatives and reflecting a reduced EBITDA margin of 31 per cent due to the acquisition of Playmaker Capital.

Co-founder & CEO, Jesper Søgaard commented: “Thanks to a fantastic team performance, we had a good start to 2024 with strong revenue performance and growth in recurring revenue. Organic revenue was down due to the extraordinary delivery during Q1 last year.”

“We continued diversifying our revenue streams to future-proof our business while investing in our Adtech platform, AdVantage, and AI projects, which will support us in our journey towards becoming the leading digital sports media group. Looking forward, I am excited for the summer with many major sports events ahead of us.”

Q1 trading concluded with Better Collective announcing that it had agreed terms to acquire leading UK sports betting affiliate AceOdds for €42m.

AceOdds acquisition saw Better Collective upgrade its full-year 2024 guidance, expecting revenues of €395 to €425m and EBITDA before special items of €130 to €140m, representing 21-30% per cent and 17-26 per cent growth, respectively. FY2024 guidance maintains a net debt to EBITDA ratio of less than 3x.