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Virtual sports drive Inspired to H1 revenue increase

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
Gaming provider Inspired Entertainment highlighed its expanding virtual sports vertical in an H1 that saw large revenue increases on both a quarterly and year-on-year basis.
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Revenue increased from $41.5m (£34.0m/€40.2m) to $71.3m for the three months to 30 June, a 72% increase year-on-year. This compares with the $60.6m the business generated in Q1, a 15% quarterly increase.

In a statement accompanying the financial results Inspired executive chairman Lorne Weil pointed to the “resiliency of our [company’s] diversified business model” and the “continued strength of consumer spending across our segments – notwithstanding ongoing macro trends” as being behind Inspired’s performance.

The business highlighted its growing virtual sports vertical in its report, noting that revenues from the division rose 71% year-on-year to $14.0m, a quarterly record.

”Virtual sports was, once again, the standout in the quarter, producing its fourth record-setting revenue and adjusted EBITDA quarter in a row, with online virtual sports doubling year-over-year versus strong comparatives, speaking to our strong product development and increased market penetration,” said Weil.

The company’s leisure and gaming verticals also both saw large increases in revenue, with leisure increasing from $11.3m to $26m, and gaming from $16.2m to $25.5m. This can largely be explained by last year’s continuing Covid-19 restrictions in the UK affecting retail operations. With restrictions completely lifted in the UK in Q2 2022, there has been a large recovery in the segment.   

Meanwhile, Interactive revenue remained stagnant with business shifting from a declining UK sector to a growing trade in North America and Greece. Inspired blamed self-imposed enhanced customer protections that UK operators placed on their systems ahead of the upcoming UK Gambling Act review white paper for declines in that market.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 227% from a year earlier to $26.1m. Inspired also reported net income of $13.4m compared to the previous year’s loss of $9.7m.

Year to come

For the coming months, Weil pointed to rising activity in North America as well as renewed long-term strategic partnerships with large retail organisations in the UK as sources of future growth.

“We are very excited about the current trends in our business and what’s to come, including our recent Interactive launches in Ontario and particularly in Pennsylvania, where we are witnessing strong results with only one customer live and we have several additional customer launches to follow in the year, and the launch of virtual sports with the DC Lottery, our second North American lottery,” he said.

“We have also successfully negotiated a long-term strategic partnership/extension with William Hill on the gaming front and signed key contract extensions with customers in the UK pub industry, including Greene King and Mitchells & Butlers.

“The long-term fundamentals and health of the business are the strongest they have been in my tenure. The growth dynamics of our markets remain compelling as a wider audience engages with online betting and gaming and new jurisdictions open up, creating further opportunities. With the return of our retail customer base, we remain confident that our diversification and proven ability to grow our business will enable us to deliver further progress against our strategy.”

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