LeoVegas praised “continued steady growth and profitability during a time of exceptional circumstances,” as after Q3’s conclusion a sense of organisational normality returned to disregard.
When sales for July amounted to €30.7 million (2019: €29.3 million), reflecting a growth rate of five percent, the group says “the gaming market returned in July to a more normal environment.”
It is through a planned move from casino to sports betting now that major sports leagues have restarted, but temporary restrictions imposed in Sweden have a negative impact on income.
Commenting on favourable developments in most markets during the period, powered mainly by a record-size depositing customer base that grew by 24 percent to 434,453 (2019: 350,298), Italy is described as “posting record-strong performance,” with COVID impacts having a negative effect in Sweden.
In the quarter, covering the period from 1 April to 30 June, revenue increased 17 percent to 110,7 million euros (2019: 94,4 million euros), operating income reached 16,3 million euros (2019: 8,5 million euros) and EBITDA increased 52,3 percent to 23 million euros (2019: 15,1 million euros).
NGR per country was made up of 34 Nordics, 51 percent of the rest of Europe and 15 percent of the rest of the world, with GGR per commodity leading with 78 percent, ahead of live casinos (18 percent and sports (4 percent).
Throughout the first half of the year sales rose by 10.7 percent to €200.2 million (2019: €180.7 million), operating income increased by 103.3 percent to €18.5 million (2019: €9.1 million) and EBITDA exceeded €32 million (2019: €22.3 million).
In his remarks, LeoVegas president and CEO Gustaf Hagman commented on responsible gaming and concentrated once again on the aforementioned Swedish restrictions and the related risks: “During the quarter, several countries implemented measures to reduce the risk for problem gaming in connection with COVID-19. Spain, for example, introduced a temporary ban on gambling advertising.
“On top of these restrictions, LeoVegas has chosen to implement its own proactive measures to strengthen player protection. Most of the temporary restrictions throughout Europe ended in June, and Spain and the UK, among other countries, have reverted to normal regulations once their respective societies opened up again.
“It is therefore remarkable that Sweden, despite massive criticism from most areas, has moved in the opposite direction and introduced new, temporary restrictions, effective 2 July, focused particularly on online casino.
“There is a large risk that these restrictions, implemented entirely without supporting factual data, are undermining the Swedish regulation system and driving players to companies without Swedish licences, where player protection is non-existent. These restrictions therefore risk being counterproductive and instead contribute to an increase in problem gaming in Sweden.”
The operator also welcomed the extension of its multi-brand strategy in affirming a long-term financial aim of achieving sustainable growth that outperforms the online gaming industry.
Developments over the quarter saw LeoVegas launch the LiveCasino.com brand in a variety of English-speaking countries, and extend GoGoCasino to Finland after debuting in Sweden last year.
Commenting on the potential success of the Group, Hagman concluded: “We will maintain a continued high rate of investment during the third quarter, partly linked to the launch of new brands and market establishments. Our current assessment is therefore that marketing costs will be in line with – or slightly higher than – the level during the second quarter.
“We continue to focus on delivering sustainable and profitable growth for our shareholders and on offering an entertaining and safe gaming experience for our customers around the world. LeoVegas’ long-term vision is to be ‘King of Casino’.”