Henrik Tjärnström – Kindred will reap benefits of its ‘local appeal’

Speaking to Kindred Group Plc investors, Group CEO Henrik Tjärnström said that the Stockholm-listed online gambling group will demonstrate its capacity as it arrives at its ‘peak season’ of activity, entering the closing months of 2019.

Tjärnström acknowledged a tough but anticipated H1 2019 trading period, in which Kindred has undertaken significant adjustments to realign its operations to be compliant with the re-regulated Swedish online gambling marketplace.

He underlined that the pan-European online gambling group has chosen to tackle changing regulatory dynamics head-on, bolstering marketing and operational spend.

“We have increased investment significantly across our business,” he said. “For marketing, we have spent more in this second quarter than we did last year during World Cup trading, and in comparison to any other Kindred Q2 period.”

Tjärnström praised Kindred’s ability to adapt to new regulated market demands, as the group’s investment and planning begin to bear fruit as ‘locally licensed revenues grow 41% on year despite facing tough EBITDA comparatives due to World Cup 2018 and Swedish re-regulation’.

He explained: “We are growing much faster in our regulated markets than in our .com markets, and this adds pressure to our underlying EBITDA.”

Moving forward, a busy Kindred has been ‘gathering marketing assets’, with Tjärnström underlining the firm’s focus on developing long term mutually beneficial partnerships – which he believes are a ‘scarce resource’ in betting.

Branded as a major coup, from 1 July Kindred Group’s flagship Unibet brand will act as principal partner of the Hockeyallsvenskan Swedish ice hockey league.

The agreement, worth SEK 25 million over two years of which Kindred will put SEK 3 million towards social initiatives as well as projects against match-fixing, will form part of Unibet’s ‘long term strategy to give back to sports and society’.

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