LeoVegas AB Q4: Quarterly Report 1 October- 31 December 2019, LeoVegas Reiterates its Long-term Financial Targets, Remove Short Term Financial Targets and Raises the Dividend
STOCKHOLM, Feb. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --
"We have entered 2020 with good underlying growth and profitability, and an ever-stronger balance sheet"
FOURTH QUARTER 2019: 1 october-31 december 2019
Events during the quarter
Events after the end of the quarter
COMMENT FROM GUSTAF HAGMAN - GROUP CEO
sustainability and long-term growth
Our investments in sustainability have been particularly meaningful, where LeoVegas is one of the leading operators. For example, today we have some 70 employees who work exclusively with responsible gaming and compliance.
an industry in change
We have entered 2020 with a good starting point, with an increasingly efficient organisation and many ongoing initiatives surrounding product innovation and brand expansion. Owing to the increasingly dynamic business environment and a more pronounced focus on profitability, we have decided to remove our financial targets for 2021 while we reiterate our long-term financial targets of organic growth in excess of the market and an EBITDA margin of at least 15%.
At the same time, our underlying profitable growth and favourable financial position have created the foundation for the Board's proposal to raise the dividend for 2019 by 17% to SEK 1.40 per share.
fourth quarter 2019
EBITDA for the fourth quarter adjusted for items affecting comparability during the period totalled EUR 9.2 m (8.1), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 10.6% (9.6%). We thereby improved our underlying profit by 13% compared with a year ago despite a higher burden from gambling taxes and increased regulatory complexity, which confirms that our focus on efficiency and cost control is yielding the desired result.
A couple of weeks ago we communicated a number of strategic decisions coupled mainly to the UK and our ambitions to create a less complex and more scalable organisation. These initiatives gave rise to one-off restructuring costs that affected fourth quarter earnings by a total of EUR 6.1 m and are expected to lead to annual cost savings of approximately EUR 3.7 m. The savings consist mainly of platform and product costs, a more efficient organisation and more optimized premises.
During the fourth quarter we recognised a capital gain on the sale of Authentic Gaming, which was sold in October. The capital gain was EUR 11.4 m. EBIT for the fourth quarter was also affected by an impairment loss of EUR 10.2 m related to goodwill in Royal Panda.
As previously communicated, we are addressing the challenges in the UK by migrating all of our brands in the UK to our proprietary technical platform. In parallel with this we are refining our brand portfolio and closing Royal Panda in the UK. Altogether these measures are leading to a more focused and efficient operation and opening up economies of scale within the Group. Revenue for the remaining operations in the UK, consisting of 13 brands, grew 15% over the third quarter and showed good profitability. Royal Panda will now focus entirely on fast-growing markets outside the UK.
In the Swedish market we are stronger than ever. It is clear that we are benefiting from our strong brand, focus on responsible gaming and experience from regulated markets. In addition, GoGoCasino has exceeded our expectations and was successful in the strategy of filling an empty space in the Swedish casino market. December was record-strong and we ended the year with revenue as well as the number of customers at record high levels. During 2020 we expect to see the authorities taking a harder line against unlicensed actors, which will improve channelisation and consumer protection in the Swedish market.
comments on first quarter 2020
Royal Panda in the UK, which was closed in January, is not expected to generate any significant revenue during the first quarter. During the fourth quarter Royal Panda generated revenue of EUR 1.1 m in the UK.
With good momentum in many of our markets and a number of growth initiatives, we are looking forward to the remainder of 2020. We continue to work hard to deliver profitable growth at the same time as we are working to live up to our vision, to be "King of Casino".
Presentation of the report - today at 09:00 CET
This information is information that LeoVegas AB (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation 596/2014. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out below, at 08:00 CET on 14 February 2020.
For further information, please contact:
Stefan Nelson, CFO
Philip Doftvik, Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Finance
About LeoVegas mobile gaming group
 Throughout this report, figures in parentheses pertain to the same period a year earlier.
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SOURCE LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group
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