SAZKA rides high off 68% EBITDA growth ahead of full unit comeback

SAZKA Group remains confident in its full-year financial outlook, as the enlarged Czech gambling conglomerate prepares for the full comeback of business units across European markets.

Publishing its H1 2021 interim results (period ending 30 June), SAZKA recorded group revenues of €1.26 billion – up 96% on corresponding 2020 results of €652 million.

Topline revenue growth was attributed to the Q2 consolidation of Greek bookmaker Stoiximan and Casinos Austria (CASAG) which delivered €693 million of group income (54%).

Excluding CASAG and Stoiximan contributions, SAZKA topline GGR decreased by €78 million (12%) to €573.4 million, driven by the impact of H1 COVID-19 business closures primarily impacting its Greek OPAP business.

Despite Q1 setbacks, SAZKA products recorded individual growth, as the group’s flagship lottery unit registered revenues of €621 million up 78% on 2020 results of €349 million – maintained by the strong sales growth registered in the Czech Republic.

SAZKA also highlighted a 100% increase in instant lottery sales to €120 million, as a result of its strengthened online channel.

Excluding the consolidation of Stoiximan and CASAG assets, SAZKA group net revenues decreased by 11% to €382 million (H12020: €428m).

Yet irrespective of Stoiximan and CASAG, SAZKA reported a bottom-line EBITDA growth of 68% to €255 million (H12020: €152m) as a result of €185 million profits delivered from existing operating activities and maintaining a like-for-like cost base.

Updating its investors, SAZKA commented: “While all our digital channels continued to operate without interruption, some of our physical retail networks were affected by the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions in the first half of 2020. Subsequently, all operations resumed full activity in Q3 2020, albeit with some minor restrictions in certain cases. 

“In Q4 2020 and Q1 2021, some of our physical retail networks were again affected by restrictions as a result of new waves of COVID-19, while others operated with no material interruption from the new measures which were introduced. During Q2 2021, remaining material restrictions were lifted, all our business having resumed full activity by the end of the quarter.”

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