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Inspired revenue grows in Q4 but business swings to loss

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Inspired brought in $67.0m (£51.2m/€61.0m) in revenue in Q4 of 2021 as all business segments experienced growth of more than 25%, but the supplier swung to a loss after a VAT rebate helped its 2020 bottom line.

This revenue figure was up 70.9% from 2020’s ordinary revenue from operations, but was down by 6.6% if the VAT rebate during the comparable period is included.

The gaming segment – made up of land-based slot machines – was the largest contributor to revenue, bringing in $26.8m, up 49.3%.

However, its leisure segment experienced the most rapid growth, with revenue up 183.4% to $23.5m.

Virtual sports revenue, meanwhile, was up 26.1% to $11.0m, while interactive gaming revenue grew by 35.8% to $5.7m.

During Q4 of 2020, the gaming division of the business also received a one-off $32.5m value-added tax (VAT) rebate after a court ruling determined that operators did not have to pay VAT on top of gaming taxes for machines, though this was not counted as revenue for that quarter. If this had been included in the 2020 figures, the business noted, then revenue would have declined slightly.

“We are pleased with our fourth quarter results, as we were able to achieve double-digit, year-over-year top- and bottom-line growth across our business units, on an organic basis when excluding the impact of VAT-related revenue and income from 2020,” said Lorne Weil, executive chairman of Inspired.

“Our results this past year are evidence of our ability to drive sustainable, long-term growth and profitability. 

“The consistent momentum we saw building throughout 2021 and the strong demand that continues to exist for our products across each of our business lines, including the industry outlooks for land-based gaming coming out of Covid-19 and sustainable online growth trends, further support our confidence in the long-term outlook for the company.”

The business did not detail its expenses, but revealed that its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for Q4 came to $22.0m, which was 37.0% less than in Q4 of 2020. Of this total, $8.5m came from gaming, another $8.5m from virtual sports, $2.6m from interactive and $6.3m from leisure, while the corporate division of the business recorded a loss of $3.9m.

After a $10.8m depreciation and amortisation charge, $6.4m in interest expenses, $4.4m in stock-based compensation costs and a $2.9m loss on the change in fair value of warrants, partially offset by a $1.5m tax benefit, Inspired made a net loss of $1.2m. This compared with a $3.1m profit in Q4 of 2020.

Looking at 2021 as a whole, revenue for the year came to $208.9m, which was 4.6% more than in 2020.

The business did not fully break down its 2021 revenue, but did say that $26.0m came from virtuals and $22.7m from igaming.

EBITDA, meanwhile, came to $64.0m, with virtual sports leading the way.

The business then incurred $47.0m worth of depreciation and amortisation costs, $44.3m in interest expenses and $13.0m in stock-based compensation costs. These, plus a number of smaller non-operating costs, meant the business made a net loss of $36.7m for the year.

During Q4, Inspired moved into the world of lotteries by acquiring Sportech’s lottery technology division for an initial consideration of $12.5m (£9.3m/€11.1m). 

Weil also revealed that the business has received a licence to offer its games in Ontario when Canada’s largest province opens its igaming market on 4 April.

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