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Svenska Spel hails “stable” 2023 as revenue remains level

| By Robert Fletcher
Svenska Spel interim CEO president Erik Strand praised the operator’s “stable” performance during its 2023 financial year after the operator saw off several concerns to keep revenue level year-on-year.
Svenska Spel 2023

For the 12 months to 31 December 2023, revenue at Svenska Spel amounted to SEK8.03bn (£607.0m/€712.1m/$766.9m). This was only marginally lower than the previous year.

Strand said while revenue levelled off, this was positive, given the challenges facing the business. These, he said, include wider economic concerns, “zero growth” in the gaming market and issues facing Casino Cosmopol and Vegas.

On this last point, Svenska Spel last month announced it is closing Casino Cosmopol venues in Gothenburg and Malmö due to limited profitability. However, growth in other areas of the business, Strand said, places the operator in a strong position moving forward.

“We continue to be a successful business despite the challenges we face in the outside world, which is slowing down growth in the gaming market and increased inflation,” Strand said. “In 2024, we will continue to create sustainable gaming experiences that contribute to a better Sweden.”

Incidentally, Svenska Spel will soon be under new leadership, with Anna Johnson to take over as CEO. Strand is now serving as interim CEO after Patrik Hofbauer left the business last week. Johnson will become CEO in June, with Strand continuing in his temporary role until then.

“I’d like to extend a big thank you to Patrik, who left as president and CEO on 31 January after having successfully led Svenska Spel for more than five years,” Strand said. “But the board is also very happy to welcome Anna Johnson. 

“Of course, I also want to thank our employees for their fantastic efforts during the past year.”

Concerns over Casino Cosmopol & Vegas in 2023

Taking a closer look at the full-year figures, the Tur lottery division remains by far the main source of revenue for Svenska Spel. Revenue here was 0.6% higher at SEK4.92bn, helped by sales of the Eurojackpot game.

Meanwhile, revenue from the Sport & Casino arm climbed 4.6% to SEK2.17bn. Svenska Spel put this down to growth within the pool betting and online casino segments, while it also noted positive development in poker after the launch of a new gaming platform.

However, the Casino Cosmopol and Vegas segment posted a 12.0% drop in revenue to SEK942m. This, Svenska Spel said, was due to a decline in casino visitors in response to the rising popularity of online casino gaming. 

On this subject, Svenska Spel also published net gaming revenue per sales channel. For the online sector, revenue was 7.2% higher at SEK4.20bn. Retail revenue fell 5.0% to SEK2.86bn, with restaurant and bingo hall revenue declining 12.7% to SEK469m. In addition, casino revenue fell 11.4% to SEK473m.

Net profit down 2.7% at Svenska Spel

Turning to spending, costs were relatively level across most sectors during 2023. The main outgoing for Svenska Spel was external expenses at SEK1.87bn, slightly down on SEK1.91bn in 2022. 

Other stand-out spend include direct costs of SEK1.50bn, gaming operation expenses of SEK1.00bn and staff costs of SEK1.22bn. 

Financial income stood at SEK118m, leaving a pre-tax profit for the year of SEK2.45bn, down 2.5% year-on-year. Svenska Spel paid SEK509m in tax, resulting in a net profit of SEK1.94bn, a 2.7% fall from SEK1.99bn in 2022.

Higher costs hit bottom line in Q4

As for the final quarter of 2023, revenue in Q4 was 2.9% lower at SEK2.12bn. Sport & Casino was the stand-out performer during the quarter, posting revenue of SEK576m, up 6.9%.

However, lower sales at Tur meant revenue within this segment fell 2.4% to SEK1.35bn. In addition, reduced casino visitors led to a 25.2% drop in Casino Cosmopol & Vegas revenue to SEK199m.

Q4 online net gaming revenue reached SEK1.11bn, retail SEK815m, restaurant and bingo SEK108m and casino SEK90m.

After accounting for all operational and finance costs, pre-tax profit was SEK486m, down 31.0% year-on-year. Svenska Spel paid SEK103 in tax, leaving a net profit of SEK383m in Q4, a drop of 31.5%. 

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