Betclic Everest Group subsidiary Bet-at-Home has reported a 2.3% decline in net betting and gaming revenue for 2018, blaming the decline on increased fees and levies paid out over the year.
This came despite the operator setting a new company record for amounts wagered over a year, with total stakes rising to €3.2bn. Bet-at-home enjoyed strong end to the year, with gross betting and gaming revenue in the fourth quarter up to €39.1m, the highest quarterly total of 2018.
However, this followed weaker performances in the three preceding quarters, which resulted in full-year gross betting and gaming revenue falling 1.4% to €143.4m. Betting fees and gaming levies were up 11.7% year-on-year to €21.0m, with a further €7.3m paid out as a result of Value Added Tax regulations on electronic service providers in the European Union.
This, bet-at-home said, contributed to net revenue for the year dropping to €115.1m.
The company invested heavily in marketing during the summer, in order to tap into customer interest around the Fifa World Cup. Despite this, total marketing expenses fell from €42.0m to €38.3m. By the end of the year, the operator had 5.0m registered customers, up 4.2% year-on-year.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew to €36.2m, the highest full-year total in the company’s history, and up 2.0% from the prior year. Earnings before interest and tax were also up marginally at €34.9m on a constant currency basis.
The company paid income and earnings taxes of €2.4m, leaving the business with a profit of €32.6m for the year, down marginally on a full-year profit of €32.8m in 2017.
Looking ahead to 2019, Bet-at-home said it expects to see full-year revenue hit by regulatory uncertainty in the Swiss market, which has recently introduced igaming regulations for the first time. As a result, the operator said, gross revenue is expected to come in between €130m and €143m for 2019. EBITDA for the year is projected to fall between €29m and €33m.