Revenue and profit up at Evolution in Q3 as live casino growth continues

| By Robert Fletcher
Evolution put a year-on-year rise in revenue and net profit for the third quarter of its 2021 financial year primarily down to ongoing growth within its online casino business.

Revenue for the three months through to 30 September was €276.0 (£232.7m/$320.5m), up 97.1% from €140.0m in the third quarter of last year.

Evolution said this increase was driven by a growing demand for online casino, with revenue from its live casino business hiking 53.2% year-on-year to €214.5m. This demand, Evolution said, led to a rise in commission income from existing and, to an extent, new customers.

The provider also drew €61.5m in revenue from its random number generator (RNG) games, as a result of its acquisition of NetEnt. Evolution did not report any income from RNG games in Q3 last year as the NetEnt deal did not go through until December 2020.

In terms of geographical performance, the ‘Rest of Europe’ region accounted for the largest portion of revenue with €103.2m, ahead of Asia on €76.7m and North America with €31.9m. Revenue in the Nordics amounted to €19.5m and UK revenue reached €19.1m, while other markets accounted for the remaining €25.6m.

Evolution also noted that its share of revenue from regulated markets increased from 32% in Q3 of 2020 to 38% this year.

“The third quarter this year has been another quarter of extremely high activity within Evolution,” Evolution chief executive Martin Carlesund said. “The expansion of our business at the current speed is simply put – hard work – and I want to start these comments by thanking everyone in Evolution for great work during this period, without your effort and commitment the achieved financial results would not be possible.

“The result for the third quarter 2021 has once again proven that our strategy to focus on the entertainment of the end-users and seamless and flawless experience is successful.”

Turning to expenses, operating costs were 84.6% higher at €104.1m and after including €2.5m in financial costs, this left a pre-tax profit of €169.5m, up 102.6% to €169.4m. The supplier also reported a 112.7% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to €192.9m.

Evolution paid €12.0m in tax during Q3, leaving a net profit of €157.4m, up 98.3% year-on-year.

“Our ambition is to continue to strengthen our leading position in the online casino market,” Carlesund said. “One of the corner stones which allows us to increase the gap to our competitors even further is through product innovation.”

Looking at Evolution’s year-to-date performance, revenue for the nine months through to the end of September was 100.4% higher at €768.5m.

Operating costs were up 77.4% to €299.1m, but the sharp increase in revenue meant pre-tax profit hiked 115.7%% to €433.9m and EBITDA was 123.6% up to €527.7m.

After paying €29.4m in tax, net profit for the period was €433.9m, an increase of 112.7% on last year.

Reflecting on this overall performance, Carlesund picked out a number highlights, including the opening of a new dedicated live online casino studio in New Jersey for Penn Interactive, the igaming subsidiary of Penn National Gaming.

Evolution also entered into a partnership with Betway, which will see its online live casino and first-person RNG casino games become available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

In addition, Evolution last month agreed to acquire spinning gaming wheels developer DigiWheel for €1.0m, in a deal it said would strengthen its igaming portfolio. DigiWheel’s digital technology will be blended into Evolution’s range of online live casino games and game shows, which includes a number of wheel-based games.

“DigiWheel’s technology is exciting, innovative and unique and will be blended into our online live casino games and game shows,” Carlesund said. “The ambition is to launch new games in 2022 using this technology.”

“We are now well on our way into an exciting and very hectic last quarter and we have had strong start to the fourth quarter so far. 

“New games to release, new studios to build, OSS to be rolled out and great new Evolutioneers to recruit at the same time as all of us already here need to focus hard on what we can do better, what we can do to make Evolution a little bit better every day.”

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