Swedish gambling operator Betsson said revenue rose nearly one-quarter in 2015 thanks to strong organic growth and recent acquisitions.
On Friday, Betsson reported revenue up 23% to SEK 3.7b (US $440m) in 2015, while profits were up nearly 8% to SEK 832m ($97.5m). The pace of growth was accelerated in Q4, during which revenue rose 28% to SEK 1b, of which SEK 96m came via Betsson’s acquisition of the Georgian-facing Europe-Bet business last June.
Betsson said Q4’s operating income was negatively affected by its decision to pay SEK 113m in back taxes on its operations in Germany since the Interstate Treaty was passed in 2012. Betsson says SEK 8.7m ($1m) of this sum was to cover Q4’s operations and warned that it plans to keep paying German tax each quarter until it can convince a court that there is no legal obligation to do so, after which Betsson will seek a refund.
Betsson CEO Pontus Lindwall (pictured) said the results showed “underlying organic earnings increasing more than our revenue, adjusting for exchange rate fluctuations,” which Lindwall suggested was further proof that Betsson had “one of the most efficient strategies in this Industry.”
Casino retained its status as Betsson’s dominant vertical, rising 21% in 2015 to SEK 2.54b, but sports betting enjoyed a bigger gain, rising 30% to SEK 1b. ‘Other products’ were up 6% to SEK 48m while even the traditionally negative poker vertical managed a 1% gain to SEK 117.8m.
Nordic markets accounted for 61% of Betsson’s overall revenue, with the remainder claimed by non-Nordic EU markets (20.7%), the rest of Europe (0.6%) and the rest of the world (7.5%).
Nordic markets remain Betsson’s bread and butter, but this revenue grew only 4% last year. Much more dynamic growth was enjoyed by non-Nordic EU markets (49%) and the rest of Europe (52%), while the rest of the world category grew tenfold last year.
Revenue derived from mobile channels in Q4 doubled year-on-year, rising to 36% of total revenue, up from 23% in Q4 2014. Mobile’s share of total sportsbook revenue rose 11 points to 55% in Q4.
Meanwhile, Betsson has rebranded its Affiliate Lounge program under the moniker Betsson Group Affiliates. Betsson affiliate chief Allister Bajada said the new Betssongroupaffiliates.com site contained lots of helpful info regarding the change and info related to the 18 B2C brands available to Betsson’s affiliate partners.