Allwyn posts strong organic growth in Q3 ahead of Camelot acquisition

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
Czech-based lottery operator Allwyn Entertainment announced that gross gaming revenue (GGR) had increased 11% to €958.6m (£826.3m/$990.3m) in Q3 in the wake of the business announcing its acquisition of Camelot Group.
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Consolidated adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by a similar rate of 10% to €319.9m in the three-month period. Both the revenue and EBITDA growth were driven entirely by organic factors, “demonstrating once again the resilience of demand for our products and of our business model,” said Allwyn CEO Robert Chvatal.

The growth reflected strong performances in the company’s online segment, as well as continuing strength of the Allwyn’s Austrian casino business.

Online growth

In Q3, Allwyn continued to make progress developing its online proposition. In particular, the business highlighted its performance in the Czech Republic – where it had enjoyed notable success.

“The third quarter was another record quarter for online sales in the Czech Republic, with the proportion of our GGR from online increasing by 7% year-on-year and approaching 50% of the total.”

Growth prospects going forward will be driven in part by Allwyn’s previously announced acquisition of Camelot. Camelot, which was the UK National Lottery operator from the lottery’s founding in 1994, lost out in its bid to renew its licence when in February the Gambling Commission announced that Allwyn was the “preferred applicant”.

“Common ownership of the operators of both the third and fourth licences will help ensure the successful delivery of the National Lottery both in 2023 and over the next decade,” said Chvatal. “Allwyn is committed to making the National Lottery better, raising more for good causes and improving player protection. This deal strengthens the transition process and helps support Allwyn in achieving its vision for the National Lottery.”

Another factor in Allwyn’s growth in future will be the business’ increased stake in Greek gaming business OPAP. In Q3, the company increased its shareholding by 1.05% to 49.8% through market purchases and participation in OPAP’s scrip dividend programme.  

Outlook

When evaluating the macro risks which could pose a threat to the company’s position going forward, Allwyn were bullish on their prospects. The business said that neither Covid-19, nor the ongoing war in Ukraine, have materially impacted its operations.

In addition, inflation and rising energy prices have had a “limited impact” on the company’s costs. The business ascribes this to energy and personnel costs accounting for a small proportion of Allwyn’s overall cost base.

Allwyn admitted that while the aforementioned macro-economic and political risks could hit consumer sentiment, the business said that it was optimistic that it would largely be insulated from this, pointing to historic evidence of the company’s performance in periods of stress.  

“Current trends are in line with the resilience of our revenues during previous periods of weaker general consumer sentiment – for example the early period of the Covid-19 epidemic, the Greek crisis and the global financial crisis – when demand for our products remained resilient, especially in comparison with other consumer sectors,” said the company.

Financing

This month, Allwyn announced €1.6bn in new financing from a syndicate of international banks. The transaction, which was supported both by existing lenders as well as several new banks, will be used to refinance previous debt, pay for the upfront costs associated with launching the UK National Lottery, as well as help facilitate acquisitions.