Cherry AB positive on 2018 outlook following year of tough ComeOn integrations

Closing its full-year 2017 accounts, Stockholm-listed online gambling group Cherry AB reports solid growth, despite its operational restructure to acquired asset ComeOn.

Publishing its full-year 2017 results, Cherry records a group revenue increase of 104% to SEK 2,252 million (FY 2016: SEK 1,102 million), with organic assets contributing 27% of revenue share.

A strong revenue performance would see Cherry declare a 2017 corporate EBIT of SEK 429 million (€43 million) up 146% on corresponding 2016’s SEK 174 million (€17 million).

However, as reported last November, Cherry full-year profits have been weighed down by a tougher than anticipated integration of ComeOn online gambling assets, acquired outright in H1 2017 for €280 million.

The tough integration of ComeOn, sees Cherry governance declare group 2017 operating profits of SEK 110 million (€11 million) down 8% on 2016’s SEK 125 million (€12.5 million).

Cherry AB Group CEO, Anders Holmgren commented on ComeOn impacts; “Over the year, we integrated the operations of B2C company ComeOn, Cherry’s largest acquisitions over the years, into our Online Gaming business area. For the most part, this process has progressed as planned, although, in mid-2017, we saw that the company’s costs, market focus and management were not living up to our expectations.

“Following an intensive period in the second half of the year, the company is back on the growth curve that we envisage. Together, ComeOn’s management and I have identified several priority improvement factors for 2018, and these will be implemented over the year.”

Despite the ComeOn setbacks, Holmgren and Cherry governance are positive of the firm’s future outlook, stating that Cherry has laid solid growth foundations in 2017 through its ‘investments in innovation’.

Year highlights see Cherry governance point to strong growth from its Yggdrasil games division which continues to strengthen its commercial pipeline and has released a number of new game innovations for its growing customer base.

Meanwhile, industry performance-based marketing asset Game Lounge continues to expand its services and operations within new markets such as Japan, which will aid Cherry’s future growth initiatives.

“After a year as President and CEO of Cherry, I am able to confirm that Cherry can report yet another good year, from both a financial and operational perspective. A year ago, I wrote that there remained an incredible amount to be done in the gaming industry and that what is great about Cherry is that its five diversified business areas span the entire gaming industry and that Cherry AB owns and manages highly interesting companies. We have already benefited from this strength and progressed some distance in our plans” Holmgren further details in Cherry’s 2017 trading statement.

“A year later, I have the same feeling; we have much ahead of us and Cherry is the player that can most naturally benefit from all of the opportunities available. We will continue to focus on companies run by extremely strong and ambitious individuals with a mix of entrepreneurs and specialists with a strong spirit of innovation. Creativity and hard work drive the products forward, also allowing Cherry’s business areas to grow faster than their respective markets.”

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