Betsson AB sees no home comforts closing tough 2019

Publishing its full-year 2019 results, Stockholm-listed online gambling group Betsson AB details that it has achieved its strategic goals in a year of tough industry challenges and corporate adjustments.

Tougher operating conditions within its Nordic home markets and the Netherlands see Betsson record a 5% decrease in group revenues to SEK 5,173m / €493m (FY2018: SEK 5,419m).

Lower group revenues would be further frustrated by an operating margin drop to 16% (2019: 22%) as Betsson posts an 28% operating EBIT decline of SEK 865m / €82m (FY2018: SEK 1,193m).

Closing its full-year 2019 accounts, Betsson governance declares a corporate net income of SEK 787m representing a 27% decrease on 2018’s corresponding SEK 1,078m.

Despite 2019’s negative outcomes, Betsson President & CEO Pontus Lindwall remains optimistic on the firm’s underlying strategy, closing a year of tough adjustments for all industry incumbents.

“We are proud to report a 2019 full-year operating profit of SEK 865 million,” he said. “This shows that Betsson has the ability to run a profitable business, even during a year of challenges. Despite a notch in the growth curve, our ambition is to grow more than the market, organically and through acquisitions.”

A regional breakdown of Q4 2019 trading saw group revenues in the Nordics decline 32% to SEK 450m (Q4 2019: SEK 659m) alongside Western Europe revenues decreasing to 15% to SEK 387m (Q4 2019 SEK 455m).

In its Q4 statement, Betsson details that local taxed revenues primarily attributed to Sweden and Italy had increased by 41% to SEK 464m (Q4 2019 SEK 330m), corresponding to 36% of group revenues.

Countering multiple tax adjustments, Betsson governance details that it continues to ‘review its business models’ to adapt to market realities, whilst in-turn evaluating ‘new market opportunities in order to grow revenues and earnings’.

Lindwall added: “During the fourth quarter we made a minor strategic acquisition and continue to analyse several opportunities, both in locally regulated markets and in markets that will be regulated. By further increasing the geographical distribution, we can reduce the impact of temporary downturns in individual markets.”

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