Q1 results 2021

BtoBet acquisition drives revenue and profit up at Aspire Global in Q1

| By Robert Fletcher
Aspire Global reported a year-on-year in revenue and net profit during the first quarter of its financial year, helped by the acquisition of sportsbook provider BtoBet in late 2020.

Revenue for the three months to 31 March totalled €48.1m (£41.5m/$57.8m), a record for the supplier and an increase of 42.6% from €33.7m in the same period last year. This was also 8.4% higher than the €44.4m it made in the final quarter of 2020, which was the previous high.

Aspire Global reported growth across all segments during the quarter, with B2B revenue up 42.2% year-on-year to €32.3m, excluding inter-segment revenue. The supplier put this down to good business momentum and the impact of the BtoBet acquisition, which was finalised in October of last year.

The supplier also noted growth within its Aspire Core B2B sub-segment, with revenue rising 26.0% to €26.8m. Aspire unveiled the new Aspire Core gaming platform brand in February this year, following the acquisitions of BtoBet last year and Pariplay in 2019.

Looking at B2C performance and revenue here also climbed 43.3% to a record €15.7m for the quarter. Aspire put this increase down to significant marketing spend to promote the launch of its new Griffon brand, as well as material investments in the UK market.

In terms of geographical performance, the majority of revenue was generated from Aspire’s rest of Europe operations, comprising European revenue from outside the UK, Ireland and Nordic countries, with revenue here rising 12.9% to €24.5m. UK and Irish revenue was also up 142.4% to €14.3m, driven by good development in all segments.

Nordics revenue declined by 20.0% year-on-year to €3.6m, but Aspire was able to record a 256.3% rise in rest of world revenue to €5.7m, which it said reflected the group’s geographic expansion plans and the consolidation of BtoBet.

“Growth was particularly strong in the UK and Ireland in both the casino and sports verticals,” Aspire chief executive Tsachi Maimon said. “The solid growth in the quarter is particularly impressive, given that the first quarter is historically the weakest of the year.

“The acquisition of BtoBet and its proprietary sportsbook has created an offering that covers the main elements of the B2B igaming value chain and gives Aspire Global control of the IP in the full value chain. 

“We have recently accomplished the integration of BtoBet’s sportsbook to Aspire Core’s cutting-edge technology platform. This, in combination with Pariplay’s leading game offering, provides Aspire Global with crucial competitive advantages.”

Turning attention to spending and operating costs for Q1 were up by 38.7% to €38.0m, as Aspire reported higher costs across distribution, gaming and administrative activities. 

However, this did not stop earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rising 65.4% to €8.6m. When taking into account depreciation and amortisation costs of €2.0m, operating profit was €6.5m, up 66.7% on last year.

Profit before tax climbed 139.3% to €6.7m and after paying €567,000 in tax, this left a net profit of €6.1m, up 144.0% year-on-year.

Aspire noted a €111,000 loss from its share in associated companies, which meant it ended the quarter with a net comprehensive profit of €6.0m, an increase of 150.0% on Q1 of 2020.

“We see tremendous growth opportunities for Aspire Global,” Maimon said. “With our complete igaming offering, we will target both new customers and broaden our presence with existing partners. 

“We have proven our ability to gain tier 1 operators as customers with names such as Rush Street Interactive, Betfair, William Hill and 888casino. The strategy to grow in regulated markets is proven efficient, and we will continue to licence our offering in more regulated markets and enter new markets.

“We remain confident in our ability to deliver on our 2021 financial targets and are truly excited by Aspire Global’s future prospects.”

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