Record Q2 revenue drives growth at Aspire Global in first half

| By Robert Fletcher
Aspire Global reported a year-on-year increase in revenue and profit for the first half of its 2021 financial year after a record performance in the second quarter built on its growth in Q1.

Revenue for the six months to 30 June amounted to €103.9m (£88.5m/$121.3m), up 34.2% from €77.4m in the corresponding period last year.

B2B remained the primary source of income for Aspire in the half, with revenue rising 28.8% year-on-year to €68.7m, excluding inter-segment revenue. Aspire said it experienced growth across all B2B areas and highlighted its acquisition of sportsbook provider BtoBet in October last year as a major contributing factor to growth.

The supplier also experienced growth within its Aspire Core B2B sub-segment, helped by the launch of the new Aspire Core gaming platform brand in February of this year, which came after the acquisitions of both BtoBet last year and Pariplay in 2019.

Turning to B2C and revenue here in the first half was 44.3% higher at €35.2m, with Aspire seeing growth across all main B2C brands. This, it said, was particularly apparent in the UK, helped by the launch of the Griffon Casino brand in Q4 2020, as well as the roll out of the new iOS native Karamba app and optimisations across all marketing channels.

Breaking down geographical performance in the period and while the rest of Europe was the largest region, revenue here only increased 0.4% to €49.6m. In contrast, UK and Ireland revenue was 131.1% higher at €34.2m and rest of world revenue hiked 179.5% to €12.3m, though Nordics revenue dipped 11.4% to €7.8m.

“Aspire Global has consistently demonstrated its ability to execute its growth strategy and create value,” Aspire’s chief executive Tsachi Maimon said. “We see tremendous growth opportunities by expanding with existing partners, gaining new partners and entering new markets.”

Looking at costs for the period and operating costs were 31.8% higher at €82.4m, but the increase in revenue meant earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was 49.6% up to €18.4m.

Depreciation and amortisation expenses reached €4.1m, leaving an operating profit of €14.3m, up 49.0% year-on-year, while after the majority of finance costs were offset by interest income and foreign exchanges difference, pre-tax profit improved from €7.6m in 2020 to €14.2m this year.

Aspire paid €1.2m in income tax during the period and after accounting for €612,000 in loss from its share in associated companies, the provider ended the half with a profit of €12.4m, up 90.8% year-on-year.

Looking at the second quarter, revenue increased 27.7% to €55.8m, with B2B revenue up 24.4% to €36.3m excluding inter-segment revenue, while B2C revenue also increased 45.5% to a record €19.5m.

Rest of Europe revenue fell 9.4% to €25.1m and Nordics revenue slipped 2.3% to €4.2m, but revenue in the UK and Ireland rocketed 123.6% to €19.9m, while rest of world revenue also jumped 135.7% to €6.6m. 

Operating costs climbed by 26.8% to €44.5m, while EBITDA jumped 39.4% to €9.9m and after including finance expenses, pre-tax profit was 56.3% higher at €7.5m.

Income tax of €638,000 and a €501,000 loss from its share in associated companies meant Aspire was left with a profit of €6.4m, up 45.2% on last year.

“Aspire Global reports its sixth consecutive quarter with solid growth,”  Maimon said. “We made significant progress in the quarter by growing our business with both existing as well as new partners in the US, Europe, Latin America and Africa. 

“Taking into account our strong business momentum and deal flow, we are confident to reach our 2021 financial targets.”

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