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Despite operational difficulties in Germany and Norway, Betsson AB claims to have “broadly achieved” its opening targets for trading in 2021.
According to the company’s Q1 financial results, overall sales increased by 12 percent to SEK1,592.8 million, while operating income (EBIT) increased by 6 percent to SEK276.1 million, with an EBIT margin of 17.3 percent.
In Europe, Betsson had particular success in markets like the Baltics, Italy, and Croatia, with the latter seeing particularly high levels of activity, while all markets saw strong growth and profitability.
With a revenue increase of 16 percent, casino earnings powered much of the operator’s growth in these markets, while sportsbook revenue increased by 2 percent with a 7.2 percent margin, and the operator’s active customer base increased by 39 percent from 680,938 to 948,109.
Strong performance in these markets helped to boost net income from SEK229.5 million in Q1 2020 to SEK240.1 million in Q1 2021, equating to SEK1.76 per share, up from SEK1.68 per share the previous year, while operating cash flow increased from SEK321.9 million to SEK327.7 million.
Meanwhile, activities in the Netherlands are continuing ‘as usual’ while the company waits for the licencing process for international operators to begin, and the company 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,’ according to the company.
However, the company is not satisfied with its first-quarter results, citing difficulties in some European markets, especially in Germany, as a result of new restrictions that forced the operator to close several brands. As a result, sales from German markets have ‘significantly decreased.’
Betsson faced similar difficulties in Norway when looking for effective payment options, but it has continued to operate successfully thanks to its own proprietary payment network.
South American expansion
Outside of Europe, the Stockholm-listed online gambling company made significant progress toward its South American expansion goals, launching new projects in Chile, Peru, and Colombia, as well as building a presence in Bogota, Colombia’s capital.
In terms of marketing, the operator has taken additional steps to strengthen its brand presence in the area by partnering with the Chilean national football team and Peruvian Liga 1.
Further LatAm innovations see the company preparing for an early entrance into the soon-to-be controlled Brazilian online gambling industry by improving its brand ahead of the country’s upcoming regulations.
Finally, the company confirmed the expansion of its US operations, stating that it intends to adapt its sportsbook product for the American market through an integration with TG Lab’s PAM entity before launching in Colorado.