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Betsson posts record 2023 results following casino surge

| By Richard Mulligan
Betsson reported a record year for 2023 as high customer activity and record-strong figures benefited the group in the final quarter.
Betsson Q3

Betsson saw revenue grow by 22% to €948.2m during the year to 31 December 2023. Revenue was up 40% organically.

Sportsbook revenue of €267.0m grew by 7% compared to €250.6m in 2022. Deposits of €5.01bn were up 37% over the 2022 figure.

Over the course of the year, EBITDA was up 52% to €262.7m from €172.4m in 2022. The EBITDA margin was 27.7%, compared to 22.2% in the prior year.

Betsson recorded operating income (EBIT) of €210.5m, which was up 60% year-on-year. The EBIT margin of 22.2% was an increase on 2022’s 16.9%.

Pontus Lindwall, Betsson’s chief executive, said: “I look forward to 2024 with confidence. Betsson is well positioned for continued value creation thanks to a strong financial position, proprietary technology, an attractive customer offering and, above all, our employees.”

Casino growth drives Betsson’s Q4

Betsson gave a detailed breakdown of its Q4 figures, with revenue and earnings both growing significantly.

For the three months to 31 December 2023, group revenue was up 14% to €251.9m. Revenue was up 36% organically.

Casino revenue was up 25.1% year-on-year to €182.8m, which represented 72% of group revenue. In Q4 2022 it contributed 66% of group revenue. Casino revenue from mobile devices was €157.8m and accounted for 86% of total casino revenue.

Sportsbook revenue in the fourth quarter was €67.0m, which was down 5.2% compared to Q4 2022 which featured the Fifa World Cup. This represented 27% of group revenue. Sportsbook revenue from mobile devices was €51.2m, accounting for 78% of total revenue compared to 82% in Q4 2022.

Revenue from other products (poker, bingo and other) amounted to €2.1m, and represented just 1% of total revenue.

Licence revenue for system delivery to B2B customers amounted to €65.1m, which was up on the €48.8m posted in Q4 2022. B2B corresponded to 26% of group revenue, compared to 22% last year. Betsson said the increase was mainly due to enhanced products within both casino and sportsbook. The company also acquired 80% of the shares in KickerTech Ltd at the beginning of Q4.

Betsson boosted by Greek gains

Looking to geographical regions, Central & Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA) remains its largest market, accounting for 42% of total revenue. This region generated €106.8m, which was up 25.2%. Greece reported all-time high revenue in the fourth quarter, driven by a strong underlying activity with new records in turnover, number of active customers and in deposits. Betsson said Croatia continued to develop well in the fourth quarter, driven by the casino product.

Revenue from Western Europe was up 61.8% to €41.7m, thanks in part to strong growth in Italy and Belgium, which also saw the acquisition of BetFirst. Notably however, revenue was down in Germany.

Revenue from the Nordics was €46.4m, a decrease of 12.6%. Sweden reported decreased revenue compared to the corresponding period last year due to lower activity in both the sportsbook and casino product.

Local taxes drive up costs

Betsson posted Q4 gross profit of €165.2m, which was in line with revenue by growing 14% year-on-year. EBITDA of €71.9m was up 40%, with operating income (EBIT) of €57.0m up 42%.

Betsson said profitability in Q4 was constrained by increased cost of services to €86.7m. The increase was mainly due to higher gaming taxes, driven by an increased share of locally regulated revenue. This amounted to 45.9% of total revenue in Q4 compared to 34.2% of total revenue in the corresponding period in 2022.

Marketing expenses (excluding affiliate and partner commissions) were €32.4m and corresponded to 17% of B2C revenue. This was down compared to 22% in Q4 2022. The reduced marketing costs compared with the corresponding period last year were mainly driven by a step up in marketing activities during and ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

Lindwall added: “The high customer activity continued during the fourth quarter with new record levels in customer deposits and gaming turnover in both casino and sports betting. Once again, the group reports the highest levels ever for revenue and operating profit, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of sequential growth.”

A busy year for Betsson saw it secure a new online casino licence in Serbia as well as an online sports betting licence in France. However, there will be no return to the Netherlands for the time being after the business withdrew its igaming licence applications following multiple delays to the certification process.

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