Due to the completions of its NetEnt and Red Tiger Gaming acquisitions, as well as growth in global markets and continued high demand, Evolution Gaming posted a 105 percent revenue increase in Q1 2021.
Overall group sales increased to €235.8 million in Q1, as the NetEnt acquisition resulted in the firm’s synergy project being completed nine months ahead of schedule, with annual run-rate cost synergies of $40 million.
In addition, the group’s EBITDA increased by 67.9 percent to €160 million, while profit increased by 144 percent to €132 million, and earnings per share before dilution was €0.62.
The operator plans to expand on its recent acquisitions of NetEnt and Red Tiger by acquiring Big Time Gaming, which was revealed at the end of the quarter.
Evolution’s long-term goal of becoming a “world leader in all disciplines related to online casino” will be accelerated by adding Big Time Gaming’s IPs and “innovative fantastic talent” into its overall portfolio of slot brands.
Martin Carlesund, CEO of Evolution, describing the deal said: “The transaction is expected to be completed during the second quarter. I very much look forward to welcoming the Big Time Gaming team to Evolution and to work together on new innovative games.”
Other plans include the addition of new games from the NetEnt and Red Tiger suites as part of a broader ‘re-vamp’ of Evolution’s slot gaming offering, as well as enhancements to traditional live table games and the extension of the Live Game Show section.
Evolution experienced ‘great momentum’ in 2020, and the operator expects that ‘strong underlying demand’ for online casino offerings in the first quarter of 2021 will continue to drive expansion, with its live casino division experiencing 60 percent year-on-year growth in Q1, the highest growth rate the company has seen in a single quarter.
Despite the performance of the NetEnt acquisition, which saw Evolution’s RNG company start the year with a 6 percent increase in sales relative to NetEnt Q1 2020 revenues, Carlesund has forecasted “somewhat tougher comparable figures” for NetEnt’s Q2 2020 operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a continued emphasis on the pandemic, Evolution stated that Q1 2021 has been and continues to be a difficult time, with many studios working at a reduced capacity to ensure employee safety and security.
Furthermore, the strong growth recorded in all regions, with especially high rates in Asia and North America, offset these constraints on Evolution’s operating capability.
“Evolution is truly a global operation serving players all over the world,” Carlesund added.
“Our commercial organisation is now structured in four regions: Europe, Asia, North America and Latin America & Africa. With dedicated commercial resources to each region, we look forward to explore further development for each region together with operators.”
As a result of the increased demand, Evolution has decided to invest even more in the growth of its studios and operational capacity, having already committed to do so in North America and other regions during Q1 2021.