Fortuna plots Central and Eastern European domination by 2020


fortuna-central-eastern-europe-dominationCentral and Eastern European gambling operator Fortuna Entertainment Group (FEG) has vowed to become the top gambling operator in at least five regional markets by 2020.

On Thursday, FEG released its fiscal report card for the first nine months of 2017, during which total amounts staked at the company’s operations surged 69.1% to €1.3b. FEG has a presence in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and recently expanded into Romania, Croatia and Spain via a pair of high-value acquisitions.

The company said the revenue growth was primarily driven by FEG’s online operations, particularly in fixed-odds betting. In February, FEG launched online operations in the Czech Republic, where the online betting competition is about to heat up now that The Stars Group’s BetStars brand has been granted an online betting license.

FEG’s combined revenue over the nine months to September 30 totaled €185.3m, a year-on-year increase of 54.1%, despite unfavorable sports results early in the year.

This year’s acquisitions have reshaped FEG’s geographical revenue profile, with the Czech market’s share of the overall pie falling from 44% to 33% and Slovakia falling nine points to 22%. Poland’s share of FEG’s greatly improved revenue held firm at 25% thanks to that government imposing domain-blocking of unauthorized online operators.

FEG’s year-to-date earnings were up nearly 78% to €28.3m and would have risen 105.6% to €31.6m were it not for one-off costs associated with FEG’s acquisitions and the process of integrating these new operations into the fold.

Despite all the high double-digit gains, FEG’s total net profit for the year-to-date was down 18% to €7.9m. Were it not for those M&A costs, profit would have been up 59.5% to €14.4m.

Looking ahead, FEG said that it expects its new Romanian operations will enable the company to report full-year betting turnover of €1.9b, while earnings will improve between 80% and 95%.

By the end of this decade, FEG has set itself the goal of becoming the number-one licensed betting and gaming operator in its current five Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) markets, while entering at least one additional CEE market. FEG says it’s currently the top operator in Romania, while it’s a solid runner-up in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Croatia.