Record-breaking Betsson rides out a ‘year of changes and challenges’

Betsson AB has reported an ‘all-time high’ record fourth-quarter performance, having recorded sustained growth despite ‘unprecedented challenges across all operating regions’.

Publishing its full-year 2020 results, Betsson recorded Q4 group revenues of SEK 1,762 million (€175 million), up 37% on corresponding Q4 2019’s SEK 1,289 million.

Record trading saw Betsson deliver ‘growth across all products and regions’ as Q4 online casino revenues increased 33% to SEK 1,283 million alongside a 47% uplift in group sportsbook revenues to SEK 459 million.

During Q4, Betsson saw its customer activity increase by 44% to 980,000 across its brand portfolio, while the company benefited from a higher period sportsbook margin of 7.3%.

Despite absorbing currency fluctuation costs of SEK 198.3 million, Betsson declared a Q4 operating income (EBIT) of SEK 317 million (€31 million), up 59% on the SEK 200 million recorded in Q4 2019. 

“Betsson ended 2020 with yet another strong quarter. Under the extraordinary circumstances that still prevail, online gaming continues to demonstrate its resilience to market fluctuations and Betsson demonstrates good profitability,” commented Betsson Group CEO Pontus Lindwall.

“The increase is driven by both casino and sportsbook with a sportsbook margin that was slightly higher compared with the third quarter this year. We are pleased by the continued strong development in the Nordics, especially in Denmark and Sweden, at large driven by the “pay and play” brand Jalla Casino.” 

Praising its ability to deliver growth across ‘all regions and all products’, Betsson reported full-year corporate revenues of SEK 6,389.6 million (€640 million), up 24% on 2019’s 5,173 million.

Mitigating COVID-19 headwinds and further adjustments, Betsson recorded total group expenditures of SEK 2,975 million (€295 million) with the majority of outlay attributed to an increased marketing expenditure of SEK 1096 million and personnel expenses SEK 891 million.

Betsson also announced that it had significantly reduced its UK market presence ahead of the impending regulatory changes. As a result, the operator has consolidated its entire nine brands and four licences under its ‘RIZK’ brand.

Despite accounting for UK consolidation costs and Covid adjustments, Betsson declared full-year operating income of SEK 1,125 million (€110 million) – a 30% increase on FY 2019’s 856 million.

Closing its 2020 accounts, the operator noted a net income of SEK 990 million (€97 million), as the Stockholm firm maintained a cash-reserve of SEK 868 million (€85 million).

“The pandemic still holds us all in a tight grip and Betsson’s focus is, as always, on safety and health, for our employees and for society in general,” Lindwall remarked.

“We still face challenges, but we leave 2020 behind and continue with determination to benefit from our strengths to create a strong global and diversified product portfolio of strong brands and local expertise. The strong financial position enables investments in technology and existing product portfolio. And we are confident in our ambition with a scalable and flexible proprietary technology as well as highly dedicated and talented teams.”

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