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Zeal set to surpass revenue and EBITDA expectations for FY2020

| By Robert Fletcher
German online lotteries provider Zeal Network said that it expects to surpass its revenue, billings adjusted EBITDA forecasts for its 2020 fiscal year, its first full year as a lottery broker rather than a lottery betting operator.

Zeal increased its full-year financial projections in July 2020, and then for a second time in October, but after experiencing growth in the fourth quarter, it now expects to surpass these revised figures.

Due to the full consolidation of Lotto24, the online lottery brokerage business that Zeal acquired in May 2019, and positive jackpot development, billings for the 12 months to 31 December are set to reach €652.8m (£576.8m/$791.0m).

This would represent a year-on-year increase of 39.9% and would also be higher than the latest guidance of between €610m and €630m.

Zeal noted that results are only comparable year-on-year to a limited extent, as this was impacted by the discontinuation of its lottery betting business in October 2019, as well as the partial consolidation of Lotto24 billings in 2019.

Revenue is expected to fall 23.4% year-on-year to €86.9m, but this would be above guidance of between €80m and €83m for the year. Again, Zeal noted its 2019 revenue still included the secondary lottery business but not all of Lotto24.

Meanwhile, Zeal said it was able to take advantage of a good market and jackpot environment in order to invest into new customer acquisition. As a result, this is set to increase marketing costs by 48.4% year-on-year to €32.3m.

However, Zeal said it was able to reduce the sum of other costs and in the fourth quarter, for the first time realised 100% of cost synergies originally planned to be achieved by May 2021.

Taking all of this into account, Zeal said it expects adjusted EBITDA for the 2020 financial year to reach €12.4m, which would be 57.8% lower than 2019, but above the increased guidance of between €8.0m and €10.0m.

Zeal expects to publish to annual report for the 2020 fiscal year on 25 March.

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