Better Collective hits high notes ahead of 2021 transformations

By | February 24, 2021

Better Collective AS has backed its digital portfolio and long-term business strategy after the company maintained its growth profile by navigating a year of unprecedented headwinds. 

Publishing its full-year (FY) 2020 results, Better Collective recorded corporate revenues of €91 million – up 35% on the corresponding €64.5 million from FY2019.

Corporate performance was boosted by a strong close to year-end trading, as a ‘record high’ sports betting performance saw Better Collective achieve Q4 revenues of €37 million (Q4 2019: €19.5m).

Better Collective explained that it was able to adapt its entire sports publishing network to take full advantage of the rescheduled end of year sports calendar, delivering a 30% increase in new depositing customers to 153,000 during the Q4 period.

Furthermore, Q4 commercial activities were boosted by the successful acquisition and integration of paid media specialist ‘Atemi Group’ for €44 million (deal closed October 2020) – an asset which will serve as Better Collective’s new pay-per-click unit.

Excluding Atemi M&A special items, Better Collective achieved a 92% increase in Q4 EBITDA to €13.6 million (Q4 2019: €7.1 million). 

Updating investors, Better Collective underlined that its future financial reporting will be split into two segments accounting for ‘organic’ (legacy domains) and paid media’ (Atemi + PPC activities) assets.

Jesper Søgaard, CEO of Better Collective, commented: “Strong performance in Q4 marks the ending of an unusual year of unprecedented halt in sports and general insecurity as the pandemic affected societies worldwide. Our business has proven resilient and is back on track with record-high performance in Q4.”

Despite delivering Q4 growth, Better Collective underscored the significant corporate adjustments it had to undertake during 2020 to mitigate a year without any form of normalised trading.

Tough comparatives were cited as the markets of Sweden, Spain and Italy introduced temporary regulatory restrictions limiting player wagering. Meanwhile, in the UK, Better Collective’s network traffic was impacted by the Google search engine changes.

Withstanding significant H1 adjustments, Better Collective achieved a full-year 2020 EBITDA (before special items) of €36 million – up 34% on FY 2019’s €27 million.

Allocating special items related to €80 million in M&A spend during the year, Better Collective declared full-year 2020 group profits of €22 million (FY 2019: €14m).

2020 also saw Better Collective expand its portfolio beyond online gambling, with the publishing group acquiring its first esports-centric asset HLTV.org for €35 million.

Closing its financial statement, Better Collective presented its 2021  targets within which an enlarged group will pursue delivering €160 million in corporate revenues with an organic EBITDA of €50 million.  

“Looking back at an unusual year, I am pleased to see that our business has proven resilient and I am proud that we come out strong on performance,” Søgaard concluded. “We have entered 2021 in great shape and are well-positioned for an eventful 2021.”

“I am very satisfied with the performance and I firmly believe we have a much stronger company than we had a year ago. The new year, 2021, looks to be a year with a lot of big sports events and my hope is that fans and spectators again will be able to meet at the stadiums to enjoy the games.”