Betsson attributes profit rise to online casino growth

Betsson GroupBetsson has attributed its increased group revenue to the growth of its online casino business in several markets.

The firm posted SEK 1.21 billion (€116.2m/$141.9m) in the first quarter ending March 31. That is a 10% boost on the SEK 1.10 billion recorded for the same period in 2017.

To break it down, the company’s casino revenue in the first quarter was SEK 922.8 million as against SEK 822.9 million generated in 2017 (a 12% increase). Revenue generated from sportsbook betting rose from SEK 250.3 million to SEK 263.5 million in a 5% increase.

Conversely, the company saw a decline in its operating income from SEK 240.9 million to SEK 211.4 million – a 12% year-on-year decrease. Furthermore, there was a net income decrease of 12% from SEK 214.4 million to SEK 187.9 million. Within the same period, earnings per share fell from SEK 1.55 to SEK 1.36 – a 12% drop.

“The growth was mainly from casino, where we saw continued growth in Western Europe,” said Pontus Lindwall, CEO of Betsson.

“Sportsbook in the Nordics grew by 22%, but the region Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia declined mainly due to currency effects.”

Lindwall explained that Betsson suffered a significant drop in its revenues because of higher marketing expenditure, currency fluctuations and lesser earnings from acquired companies.

He further added that the company increased its spending in Spain, where growth opportunities were identified, while marketing spend for the United Kingdom was sliced off.

“The second quarter has begun with revenues slightly lower than average daily revenue for the second quarter last year,” Lindwall clarified.

The CEO noted that both a fall in the anticipated revenue projected for a recently acquired company as well as lesser sportsbook margin at the start of the quarter all contributed to Betsson’s disappointing performance.