Betsson AB states that it has ‘broadly achieved’ its opening objectives to 2021 trading, maintaining strong geographical growth despite facing operating challenges within Germany and Norway.
Detailing its Q1 finances, the group achieved total revenue of SEK1,592.8 million, an increase of 12%, whilst operating income (EBIT) stood at SEK276.1 million, representing an increase of 6% with a 17.3% EBIT margin.
In Europe, Betsson achieved particular success in markets such as the Baltics, Italy and Croatia, with the latter recording high levels of activity whilst all markets delivered strong growth and profitability.
Casino earnings drove much of the operator’s growth in these markets with a revenue increase of 16%, whilst sportsbook revenue grew by 2% with a 7.2% margin, whilst its active customer base expanded by 39% from 680,938 to 948,109.
Strong performances in these markets contributed to an increase in net income from SEK229.5 million in Q1 2020 to SEK240.1 million for the 2021 time frame, corresponding to SEK1.76 per share as opposed to the previous year’s figure of SEK1.68 per share, whilst operating cash flow rose from SEK321.9 million to SEK327.7 million.
Meanwhile, operations in the Netherlands ‘continue as before’ as the group awaits the start of the licensing process for foreign operators, and the firm has stated it is ‘pleased with the continued favourable development on the CEECA and ROW regions,’ owing to successful brand launches and ‘continuous improvements in the product offering,’
However, the firm is not ‘fully satisfied’ with its Q1 performance, facing challenges in some European markets, particularly the German sector due to the introduction of new restrictions which forced the operator to close several brands. This in turn has meant that revenues from the German markets have ‘decreased significantly.’
Betsson also encountered challenges when searching for efficient payment solutions in Norway, but has maintained successful operations utilising its own proprietary payment platform.
Outside of Europe, the Stockholm-listed online gambling group achieved strong operational progress on its South American growth objectives, establishing new ventures in Chile, Peru and Colombia – establishing an office in the latter’s capital, Bogota.
With regards to marketing, the operator has further moved to enhance its brand presence across the region via sponsorship arrangements with the Chilean national football team and Peruvian Liga 1.
Further LatAm developments, see the group prepare for early entry into the soon-to-be regulated Brazilian online gambling marketplace, conducting brand strengthening activities ahead of upcoming regulations in the country.
Lastly, the firm acknowledged the growth of its US operations, with plans to adapt its sportsbook offering for the American market via an integration with TG Lab’s PAM entity prior to launch in the state of Colorado.