Playtech revenue down in 2020 as retail closures hit B2B and B2C segments

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Playtech saw revenue decrease 25.1% to €1.08bn (£924.8m/$1.29bn) as retail closures due to Covid-19 had an impact on both the supplier’s business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) operations.

Playtech’s revenue was made up of close to an even split between B2B and B2C operations, as B2B revenue was down 10.7% to €494.8m and B2C revenue dropped 33.8% to €596.3m. €12.7m was removed through intersegment eliminations.

Breaking B2B revenue down further, €413.0m came from core business-to-business operations and €81.9m from Asia.

Breaking revenue down geographically, just over half of the business’ overall revenue came from Italy, thanks mostly to the Snaitech brand. While business-to-business revenue from Italy was just €25.0m, B2C revenue, made up almost entirely of Snai revenue, was €522.7m for overall revenue of €541.4m after intersegment eliminations.

While revenue from Snai was down year-on-year, Playtech chief executive Mor Weizer said the brand did well considering the fact that many of its retail locations were closed for much of the year, as it was the country’s overall market leader.

“Snaitech has continued to excel in Italy despite the retail closures in 2020,” Weizer said. “Snai achieved the number one market share position in Italy across online and retail sports betting and grew its overall online revenue by 58% in 2020.

“Italy continues to offer significant growth potential, and Snaitech is ideally positioned to capitalise on this opportunity.”

The UK was responsible for €150.0m in B2B revenue and €54.4m in B2C revenue, mostly from the Sun Bingo brand, for €200.9m overall.

The Philippines, Mexico and Malta followed with €70.2m, €54.9m and €54.7m, respectively, all entirely from B2B operations. No other country brought in more than €25m, with Spain, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece and Curaçao each responsible for more than €10m and Norway, Finland and Poland more than €5m.

The business paid €824.9m in expenses, down 22.5%. Of this total, €369.0m came from B2B operations, an 11.0% decline. Within B2B costs, research and development declined to €76.1m, costs of operations were up to €214.5m, administrative costs grew to €63.2m and sales and marketing costs were down to €15.2m.

Within the B2C segment, costs came to €468.5m, down 37.0%. Snaitech revenue dropped 42.1% to €390.2m, while white label revenue – including that of Sun Bingo – grew to €47.9m and other B2C sport revenue ticked down to €30.4m.

This led to adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €253.6m, down 31.9%.

After employee stock expenses of €16.5m, charitable donations and professional fees for acquisitions, Playtech’s EBITDA came to €222.9m, down 33.2%.

The business then paid €188.1m in depreciation expenses and €45.4m in impairment costs, plus €63.4m in net finance costs, but made €22.1m through disposal of assets. This resulted in a pre-tax loss of €52.7m. In 2019, Playtech made a pre-tax profit of €88.2m.

 After €20.4m in taxes, Playtech made a loss of €73.0m from continuing operations, after a €56.5m profit the year before.

It made a further loss of €224.3m from discontinued operations – mainly from its Finalto financial trading division, which it is currently planning to sell – for an overall loss of €297.4m. After accounting for currency exchange, Playtech’s loss was €317.3m, 25 times the loss it made in 2019.

“The attitude and skill of our people, and the strength and diversification of our technology-led business model has enabled us to deliver a robust financial performance in spite of the challenging backdrop,” Weizer said.

The year also saw Playtech expand its US operations thanks to deals with Bet365 and MGM and Entain joint venture BetMGM in New Jersey. These were followed by an agreement with Parx Casino owner Greenwood that would see Playtech expand into more states.

“Playtech also made significant strategic and operational progress by adding new brands, expanding existing relationships and entering new markets,” Weizer said. “We are particularly pleased with the excellent progress we have made in the US market, launching with Bet365 and Entain in 2020, and signing milestone agreements with the Greenwood companies in 2021 to license our products in Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.” 

Last week, 3 March, Playtech announced that Brian Mattingley would take over as its new non-executive chairman, effective on 1 June. Mattingley is currently chair of 888 Holdings, having sat on that operator’s board since 2005. He will succeed Claire Milne, who was named interim chairman in April 2020 after Alan Jackson indicated he would not stand for re-election.

Yesterday, Playtech announced that it had signed a new partnership with Kindred Group, to launch its RNG casino offering across the operator’s 9 brands, including its flagship Unibet brand.

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