Swedish online gambling operator Kindred Group has released its unaudited financial results for the first three months of 2017 showing that its quarterly gross gaming revenues improved by 25.1% year-on-year to hit an all-time high of $196.45 million.
Formerly known as Unibet, Kindred Group operates ten online casino and sportsbetting brands including MariaCasino.co.uk, BohemiaCasino.com and PokeriHuone.com and it additionally saw a record 1.23 million active customers during the three-month period, which represented a boost of almost 22.4% year-on-year, while its underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose by some 17.4% to $38.85 million.
However, the news was not all good for Kindred Group as the operator reported a 19% decrease year-on-year in its first-quarter profit before tax to $23.33 million while the figure after tax was down by 18.4% to just over $20.89 million. The Stockholm-listed firm explained that these drops were due to almost $770,000 in merger and acquisition costs related to its proposed purchase of rival operator 32Red along with approximately $5 million in “non-cash items”.
“In line with the fundamentals of our growth strategy, we have continued to invest heavily in marketing for both new customer acquisition and reactivation of existing customers,” read a statement from Henrik Tjarnstrom, Chief Executive Officer for Kindred Group. “While this may reduce profits in the short term, we are confident that, as we have previously proven, this will drive sustained growth in gross winnings revenues and profits. For the quarter, marketing was 29% of gross winnings revenues. However, for the full-year we still expect it to average a few percentage points below 30%.”
Licensed by officials in the United Kingdom, Malta, France, Belgium, Gibraltar, Denmark, Italy, Australia, Ireland, Estonia, Romania and the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, Kindred Group also revealed that its first-quarter sportsbetting turnover had improved by 32% year-on-year to hit a record $1.41 billion although the margin had been “low” at 6% after free bets.
Kindred Group moreover explained that 34% of its first-quarter revenues had come from locally regulated markets while activity from its mobile channels swelled by 53% to account for 73% of all takings.
“Our cash offer for the United Kingdom operator 32Red will, from the second quarter of 2017, instantaneously increase both revenues and profits from the very significant United Kingdom market,” read the statement from Tjarnstrom. “This acquisition will supplement our current strong organic growth and will significantly increase the group’s overall growth in the future, especially during the first twelve months. The acquisition will also bring new expertise into the group and offer both immediate and future opportunities for both revenue and cost synergies.”