Challenging Year As Betsson AB Q4 Drops 10%

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The Stockholm-listed online gaming company Betsson AB publishes its full-year 2019 results outlining it has accomplished its strategic goals in a year of tough industry challenges and organisational changes.

In its Scandinavian home markets and the Netherlands, tougher operating conditions see Betsson record a 5 percent decrease in group sales to SEK 5.173 million/€493 million (FY2018: SEK 5.419 million).

Higher company sales would be further disappointed by an operating margin falling to 16% (2019: 22%), with Betsson reporting a 28% fall in operating EBIT of SEK 865m/€82 m (FY2018: SEK 1,193 m).

At the conclusion of its full-year 2019 results, Betsson Governance is reporting a corporate net income of SEK 787 m reflecting a 27 percent fall on the equivalent SEK 1,078 m for 2018.

Despite the negative results obtained in 2019, Betsson President & CEO Pontus Lindwall remains optimistic about the company’s underlying strategy, closing a year of tough changes for all incumbents in the sector.

“We are proud to report a 2019 full-year operating profit of SEK 865 million,” he said. “This shows that Betsson has the ability to run a profitable business, even during a year of challenges. Despite a notch in the growth curve, our ambition is to grow more than the market, organically and through acquisitions.”

A geographic analysis of Q4 2019 saw company revenues in the Nordics drop 32 percent to SEK 450 m (Q4 2019: SEK 659 m) along with revenues in Western Europe dropping to SEK 387 m to 15 percent (Q4 2019 SEK 455 m).

Betsson reports in its Q4 statement that local taxable revenues mainly attributed to Sweden and Italy had risen by 41 percent to SEK 464 m (Q4 2019 SEK 330 m), equivalent to 36 percent of group revenues.

In response to numerous tax changes, Betsson Governance states that it aims to’ evaluate its business models’ in order to adapt to market conditions, while in effect evaluating ‘new market opportunities in order to grow revenues and earnings’.

Lindwall also added: “During the fourth quarter we made a minor strategic acquisition and continue to analyse several opportunities, both in locally regulated markets and in markets that will be regulated. By further increasing the geographical distribution, we can reduce the impact of temporary downturns in individual markets.”

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