Allied Esports reports Q3 revenue growth as WPT sale boosts bottom line

| By Marese O'Hagan
Allied Esports Entertainment (AESE) has reported revenue of $1.6m (£1.2m/€1.4m) in its third quarter of 2021 ended 30 September 2021.

This was a rise of 182.4% compared to the third quarter of 2020, as in-person operations were able to resume as Covid-19 controls were eased.

AESE launched 110 events in the third quarter, comprising 39 proprietary events, and 71 organised for third-parties.

Bookings for third-party events rose 51.0% quarter-on-quarter, which AESE attributes to a 89.0% rise in events booked at the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas.

There was a 24% rise in players competing in both online and in-person tournaments compared to Q2.

The third quarter revenue brings the overall revenue for the year to $3.0m, up by 32.3% year-on-year.

“The third quarter was a very productive period for AESE highlighted by a strong quarter of growth from our esports business,” said chief executive Libing (Claire) Wu. Wu was appointed CEO in July, replacing Frank Ng.

“This growth was driven by a sharp recovery of the in-person pillar of our esports business with the US economy almost fully re-opened, coupled with a steady climb in Las Vegas foot traffic and the return of live entertainment events.”

Most of the revenue came from in-person attendance which totaled $1.4m, up 144.4% from Q3 2020. The remaining $229,961 was generated by multiplatform content, up by $229,010.

Multiplatform content generated a 24% rise in followers for AESE on Twitch in Q3, after its 24-hour content strategy stream saw 3.2 million views.

Total costs and expenses for the quarter came to $5.6m, up by 27.3%. General and administrative expenses, at $3.1m, were the largest outgoing, up 40.3% year-on-year. Costs related to its in-arena operations came to $1.2m, up 95.1%.

Depreciation and amortization expenses totaled $806,137, a decrease of 10.9% year-on-year. Stock-based compensation also dropped, from $508,268 in Q3 2020 to $151,220 in Q3 2021. Selling and marketing expenses grew by 66.2% to $87,755, while other operating expenses also grew by 8.3% to $37,462.

Multiplatform content generated $87,373 in costs, with no comparative figure available for Q3 2020.

The expenses left the total operating loss at $3.9m, a further decrease of $115,738‬ year-on-year.

Other financial items, including a $912,475 gain on forgiveness of payment protection program loans, decreased Allied’s overall losses. This, along with other income at $54,434, compared to a $2,973 loss in the prior year, offset interest expenses of $11,809.

This reduced its loss from continuing operations to $2.9m, down by 57.7% year-on-year.

Loss from discontinued operations at $3.5m further affected the total. However, the gains on AESE’s $105.0m sale of its poker business World Poker Tour generated additional income of $80.4m. The sale to Element Partners was confirmed in January.

This meant Allied’s income from discontinued operations totaled $77.2m, a $76.7m year-on-year increase.

As such the total net income for Q3 came to $74.3m, compared to a $6.5m loss for Q3 2020.

“Since the completion of the WPT transaction this summer, we have made good headway in evaluating opportunities to invest our cash and exploring strategic alternatives for our esports business as we look to maximize value for AESE shareholders,” continued Wu.

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