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Net profit up to SEK1.45bn at ATG in 2023

| By Robert Fletcher
Sweden’s Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp (ATG) said an increase in net gaming revenue helped push net profit up 7.5% year-on-year to SEK1.45bn (£111.2m/€129.9m/$140.9m) during its 2023 financial year.
ATG Sweden

ATG says it was able to overcome wider challenges facing the industry to report growth in 2023. These include increased prices, interest rates and the recession, with these all hitting customers’ wallets.

While these issues did impact the business throughout the year, ATG was still able to grow. Total group revenue was marginally lower at SEK6.04bn but net gaming revenue increased 0.9% to SEK5.27bn.

ATG CEO Hasse Lord Skarplöth (pictured) paid tribute to the results, saying that they reflect its growing business. He adds that this is underlined by ATG’s customer base, which remains level at approximately 1.3 million players.

“I feel proud of the 2023 figures,” Skarplöth said. “ATG had growth when the total gambling market landed at plus or minus zero. 

“All this during a year when there is great concern in our world over high prices, interest rates and recession, which affect our customers’ gaming wallets. In tough times, it is gratifying to see that our 1.3 million customers are still with us.”

Casino and sports betting growth offset horse racing decline

Breaking down ATG’s performance by each division, horse racing was again by far the main source of revenue at SEK3.91bn. However, this was 3.0% lower than in the previous year. 

In contrast, sports betting revenue increased 11.0% year-on-year to SEK722m for 2023. In addition, casino revenue climbed 20.0%. 

Away from net gaming revenue, agency revenue slipped 11.1% to SEK208m, while other revenue also fell 4.5% to SEK558m.

Turning to costs, gaming tax was lower at SEK1.06bn but personnel costs climbed 11.2% to SEK588m. Other expenses were down 6.0% to SEK2.36bn, as were depreciation and write-downs intangible and tangible fixed assets costs, falling 3.6% to SEK315m.

ATG also noted SEK46m in additional financial income, leaving a pre-tax profit of SEK1.83bn, up 7.3%. The operator paid SEK380m in tax, resulting in a net profit of SEK1.45bn, up 7.5% year-on-year.

Similar story in Q4 for ATG

As for Q4, total revenue was 2.8% higher at SEK1.60bn. Net gaming revenue was up 3.7% to SEK1.39bn, agency income fell 6.9% to SEK54m, while other revenue was level at SEK156m.

Personnel costs were up 8.4% to SEK155m but both gaming tax and other expenses were lower in Q4. Financial income totalled SEK17m, resulting in a pre-tax profit of SEK563m, a rise of 23.2%.

ATG paid SEK341m in tax and noted an SEK2m positive impact from foreign exchange. This left a net profit for Q4 of SEK224m, a rise of 67.2%. 

ATG retains concerns over proposed tax rise

However, amid the backdrop of this growth, Skarplöth remains wary over proposed new tax laws in Sweden. 

In September, Sweden’s government outlined plans to hike the gambling tax rate from 18% to 22% of gross gaming revenue. If approved, the tax rise will come into effect in Sweden from 1 July 2024.

Skarplöth previously hit out at the plans, describing the proposed rise as a “shock”. Now, he is warning the increase would not only hit ATG “hard”, but the entire Swedish horse industry.

“On an annual basis, it would be about SEK200m disappearing from an already hard-tested horse industry,” Skarplöth said. “Our proposal is that the tax on betting is kept at 18% and the tax on commercial online gambling (casino and poker) increased to 26%.

“The state would receive more money than in its own proposal and also puts public health in focus. We will continue to put full force into our influence work until the government makes a decision.”

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