Sweden-based gambling operator Cherry AB is celebrating the arrival of its new UK online gambling license.
On Friday, Cherry announced that its PlayCherry Ltd subsidiary had been granted an online casino and sports betting license by the UK Gambling Commission, adding to Cherry’s existing Malta, Curacao and Schleswig-Holstein licenses.
Cherry iGaming CEO Jonas Wåhlander called the new UKGC seal of approval “an additional step in the evolvement” of the company, which plans to offer “a brand for every key customer segment in the UK market.” Initially, the company plans to put its UK focus on the CherryCasino.com and EuroSlots.com brands, eventually adding the Sunmaker.com brand to the mix.
Cherry turned in its Q3 report card this week, showing revenue up 39% to SEK 214m (US $23.6m) while earnings spiked 78% to SEK 30.9m. Online now accounts for 82% of Cherry’s revenue, up from 72% in the same period last year.
Online revenue also improved 39% to SEK 142.8m as active customer ranks grew 47%. The figures do not include contributions from the 49% stake in Malta-based ComeOn.com that Cherry acquired this spring, nor the Game Lounge affiliate business, which Cherry now reports as a separate item.
The active customer surge came at a cost, as marketing expenses rose 71% to SEK 46.2m. The company enjoyed continued growth in mobile activity, which accounted for 44% of online revenue, up from 27% in Q3 2015.
ComeOn’s revenue rose 36% to SEK 263m and earnings more than doubled to SEK 78m thanks to increased volume and cost controls. Cherry says it’s studying bond financing options that will allow it to exercise its option to acquire the remaining stake in ComeOn by the December 31 deadline.
The Game Lounge business saw revenue jump 167% to SEK 15.9m while earnings doubled to SEK 6m.
Revenue at Cherry’s land-based gaming operations slipped 7% to SEK 39.5m due to decreased visitation and a period of adjustment due to a large recruitment of new croupiers. The casino vertical expanded in September via Cherry’s acquisition of Betman’s 15 restaurant casino venues.
Cherry’s autonomous software development offshoot Yggdrasil Gaming reported a 299% surge in Q3 revenue to SEK 21m, of which SEK 3m was internal revenue from Cherry sites. Yggdrasil credited the gains to a strong slate of game releases and a new HTML-5 platform that helped push mobile’s share of revenue from 35% in Q3 2015 to 54% this year.