Live dealer casino specialists Evolution Gaming nearly doubled their profit in 2017 thanks to “intense” expansion, new products and a downright obscene earnings margin.
Figures released Thursday by the Stockholm-based Evolution show the company generated revenue of €50.7m in the three months ending December 31, 2017, up 48% from the same period one year earlier. Earnings jumped 74% to €22.6m as margins improved nearly seven points to 44.6% while profit spiked 99% to €18m.
For the year as a whole, revenue was up 54% to €178.4m, earnings jumped 81% to €80.6m (on a 45.2% margin) and profit rose 96% to just under €66.9m.
Evolution CEO Martin Carlesund did his best to restrain the superlatives after “an exceptional year in many ways,” while assuring investors that the company wasn’t taking its success for granted and would continue to work its butt off to ensure the good times keep rolling.
Carlesund credited Q4’s strong performance to “intense expansion” at the company’s existing live casino studios, which now boast roughly 400 tables in action. Evolution’s full-time payroll was up 25% year-on-year to 3,085 at the end of Q4.
Evolution expanded its main production studios in Riga and Bucharest and a new studio in Georgia (the republic, not the state) expects to launch in Q2. The company also built its first studio outside Europe via its deal with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s PlayNow.com gambling site, which launched its first live casino a few weeks ago.
Carlesund warned that Evolution was “in the midst of an investment phase,” with an accompanying upward pressure on costs. A good portion of these costs is being devoted to new product development, including the “world’s first and only” live casino version of Texas Hold’em Bonus, as well as new baccarat variants.
Evolution is also dipping its toes into random number generator (RNG) games, including Lightning Roulette, which incorporates high-payout RNG lucky number features into classic live roulette action. On a “purer” RNG basis, Evolution expects big things from its new First Person Gaming products, which offer players interactive first-person versions of popular table games.
Evolution is also offering its licensees a way to better cater to the whims of their “super VIP” players via the launch of Salon Privé, a high-limit table area that will be off-limits to riff-raff but will offer sufficiently deep-pocketed individuals “personal service and opportunities to control the game round themselves.”