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Kindred sees mobile soar thanks to World Cup boost

| By iGB Editorial Team
Gambling company turned over £295m during Russia 2018

Increased betting activity around the football World Cup at Kindred Group drove gross winnings revenue (GWR) for mobile to record levels in the third quarter, with the company citing the tournament as its “biggest single event ever”.

Total GWR at the company, which owns Unibet, amounted to £230.7m (€259.9m/$295.7m) for the three months to the end of September, up 19% on £193.6m in Q3 of last year.

The period included the latter stages of the Fifa World Cup, which concluded on July 15. The company had already felt the benefits of increased betting on the tournament in its second quarter results.

Kindred said 44.9 million bets were placed during the entire event, with GWR standing at £35m. For the latter stages of the tournament that took place at the start of Q3, GWR hit £8m with a margin of 7.8%.

Speaking on an investor call this morning (Friday), CEO Henrik Tjärnström (pictured) said the World Cup helped push mobile GWR to an all-time high of £175.5m in Q3.

He said: “Mobile continues to be a strong growth contributor for us. Betting on the World Cup helped to continue momentum over from the second quarter.”

This activity also drove underlying EBITDA up from £47.7m last year to £57.1m, the second-strongest quarterly performance by Kindred. Profit before tax also rose from £35m to £43m and profit after tax £29.9m to £36.9m.

Tjärnström also made reference to Kindred’s preparation for re-regulation in the Swedish market, with new laws set to come into effect from January 1. Kindred in August applied for a new licence to operate in the re-regulated sector and Tjärnström is positive about the firm’s position going into the new-look market.

“I think we are very well prepared, both from a technical point of view and with positioning, communications and responsibility,” he said. “We have created an adaptive platform that can deal with regulatory changes in an effective way.

“We are the most sustainable operator on the online side. We are expecting to put new efforts into that area and grow faster than the overall market.”

Tjärnström went on to offer an update on Kindred’s expansion plans in the US, where the company has been seeking new opportunities in sports betting since the repeal of PASPA earlier this year.

Kindred already has a deal in place with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City in New Jersey and also recently linked up with Scientific Games’ SG Digital arm in order to gain “swift access” to the US market.

Tjärnström said Kindred is also in talks with various other “potential partners” in other states across the US as it seeks to put foundations in place for further regulation over 2019 and 2020.

Meanwhile, Kambi, which was spun off from Kindred four years ago, recorded 39% year-on-year revenue growth and 31% operator turnover growth in a quarter in which it powered the first legal mobile bets in New Jersey. Kambi-powered operators DraftKings, SugarHouse and 888sport make up around 70% of New Jersey’s online market.

Revenue amounted to €20.5m for the third quarter, while operating profit was €4.2m.

CEO Kristian Nylén said in a statement: “While the US is very much the main strategic focus, we continue to grow strongly throughout the network and across multiple markets.

“Customers old and new are benefiting from the Kambi Sportsbook, enabling them to attain or vie for market leadership.

“Meanwhile, in Q3 we strengthened the network further with three European-based customers – ATG, Global Gaming and Latvijas Loto – bringing us to seven new customer signings for the year.”

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