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Aspire Global sees full year profit rocket in 2020

| By Robert Fletcher
Aspire Global posted a significant year-on-year increase in net profit for its 2020 financial year, as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic drove more people to online gambling during the year, while acquisitions helped the supplier expand geographically.

The igaming solutions provider posted €161.9m (£140.4m/$195.3m) in revenue for the 12 months through to 31 December 2020, up 23.2% from €131.4m in the previous year.

Aspire Global said this increase was primarily due to the impact of Covid-19, as the temporary closure of land-based gambling facilities and postponement of sports led more people playing online casino games.

The provider also said growth was partially driven by growth in its recently rebranded Aspire Core B2B business, as well as the fact the 2020 figures included the full year results of Pariplay, which it acquired in Q4 of 2019.

In addition, Aspire Global noted improvements to its service offering, including more payment methods being made available to players, the ability to use more currencies and faster website function, following significant investments in IT infrastructure.

Breaking down Aspire Global’s performance, revenue from its B2B segment, not including inter-segment revenue, was up 36.7% year-on-year to €110.9m, which the provider put down to organic growth in the Aspire Core platform business and the Pariplay acquisition.

From the fourth quarter, this segment also included BtoBet, the sportsbook provider that Aspire Global acquired in September of last year.

In terms of B2C, revenue in this segment climbed 1.3% year-on-year to €51.0m, helped by significant marketing investments in regulated markets including the UK, Denmark and Ireland across the sport and casino verticals.

Looking more closely at geographical performance, Aspire Global saw growth in all markets, with the exception of the Nordics, where revenue declined 34.9% to €16.4m.

UK and Ireland revenue climbed by 87.7% to €35.1m, while rest of Europe revenue also increased 18.0% to €98.2. Rest of world revenue rocketed 183.7%, helped by the BtoBet acquisition.

“Over the past 12 months we have created a new Aspire Global and established the company as a powerhouse for igaming operators,” Aspire Global’s chief executive Tsachi Maimon said.

“I dare to be bold and say that Aspire Global has unique assets that give the company a strong position with huge growth potential.”

Operating costs in the year amounted to €129.8m, up 17.0% on 2019, but the increase in revenue meant that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 24.9% to €27.1m.

Aspire Global accounted for €6.3m in depreciation and amortisation costs, which resulted in an operating profit of €20.8m, up 17.5% year-on-year. After including financial expenses and interest income, profit before tax totalled €16.4m, down 3.0% on 2019.

However, the 2019 figures included a major tax settlement in Israel, relating to historic business in the country.

Aspire Global paid €1.4m in tax for 2020, leaving it with a total of €13.1m in comprehensive net profit, compared to just €405,000 in 2019 due to the Israeli tax payment. This was after accounting for losses from its share in associated companies.

The provider also published its results for the fourth quarter of 2020, during which revenue was up 37.6% to €44.4m. B2B revenue increased by 44.7% to €33.1m, while B2C revenue climbed 29.0% to a record €14.3m.

Operating costs in Q4 totalled €34.8m and EBITDA increased 88.6% to €8.2m, while operating profit more than doubled to €6.3m.

Profit before tax jumped 88.5% year-on-year to €4.9m and Aspire Global paid €720,000 in tax in the quarter, resulting in comprehensive net profit of €3.1m, compared to a €12.1m loss in 2019 due to the Israeli tax case.

“Prior to the acquisitions of BtoBet and Pariplay, Aspire Global was a European focused company with revenues mainly from casino,” Maimon said.

“Today Aspire Global is present in four continents and we provide a complete, leading igaming offering with proprietary games and games aggregation along with a sportsbook, gaming platform and managed services.

“This is key to our partners when they develop their expansion plans and provides us with competitive advantages.”

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