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LeoVegas AB: Quarterly report 1 april – 30 june 2019

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“LeoVegas is delivering good growth with high profitability in a difficult-to-navigate environment. Q2 2019 was our best quarter ever, and we continue to take market shares.” – Gustaf Hagman, VD och koncernchef

Second quarter 2019: 1 april–30 june 2019[1]

  •  Revenue increased organically by 8% to EUR 94.4 m (87.4).
  •  EBITDA was EUR 15.1 m (15.0), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 16.0% (17.2%).
  •  The number of depositing customers was 334,961 (309,987), an increase of 8%.
  •  The number of returning depositing customers was 196,203 (175,500), an increase of 12%.
  •  Earnings per share were EUR 0.07 (0.07) before and after dilution.

Events during the quarter

  •  LeoVegas was granted a gaming licence in Spain. Two weeks after the licence was granted, LeoVegas was launched in Spain.
  •  LeoVegas’ technological infrastructure was migrated to Google Cloud.
  •  A number of product innovations were launched, including improved search functions, multiplay on mobile devices and exclusive games.

Events after the end of the quarter

  •  Preliminary revenue of EUR 29.7 m (27.1) in July, representing growth of 9%.
  •  LeoVegas has opted to not apply for a gaming licence in the recently re-regulated Swiss market. Switzerland accounted for EUR 2.2 m of revenue during the second quarter.
  •  Dersim Sylwan recruited as new Chief Marketing Officer and will assume his position by 1 January 2020 at the latest.
  •  Louise Nylén leaving as deputy CEO. Her role will not be replaced.
  •  Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting on August 28 regarding incentive program. The notice is posted on the company’s website.

Comment from Gustaf Hagman – Group CEO

First half of 2019
During the first half of 2019 we generated good underlying growth and profitability despite a difficult-to-navigate external environment in several of our largest markets.

Second quarter results
Revenue during the second quarter amounted to EUR 94.4 m (87.4), an increase of 8%. Organic growth in local currencies was 8%. Growth was favourable during the period in most of our markets. However, the UK continued to be challenging. Excluding the UK, organic growth was 26%. At the same time, in Sweden we have found a new base to grow from following regulation of the market, and our revenue developed in a positive direction month-on-month during the quarter.

Compared with a year ago, LeoVegas has a more balanced geographic revenue mix. This means that we are not as sensitive to challenges that may arise in a specific market, which in turn means that we have lower business risk in the Group.

EBITDA totalled EUR 15.1 m (15.0) during the second quarter, corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 16.0% (17.2%). Greater focus on efficiency and cost control has had the intended effect, and we continue to review our external agreements and optimise our own organisation. This work is helping to create necessary economies of scale and is countering the effect of that we are paying more gambling taxes. As previously communicated, our marketing investments also decreased compared with the first quarter of the year. A contributing factor to this is more restrained marketing in Sweden during the quarter. In addition, the postponement of a few campaigns from the second to the third quarter has affected costs and contributed to operating profit, which will have a reverse effect during the third quarter.

To further benefit from the expertise that has been added through acquisitions and be more efficient, we have restructured the country organisations for the UK and Italy. We have moved country-specific functions into our central teams and eliminated roles that have become redundant as a result of acquisitions. This is one of many initiatives we have taken to increase efficiency and optimisation within the Group.

Sweden
Sweden has now been a regulated market for more than six months, and the development is beginning to indicate what kind of market we will have over the long term. We are satisfied with our performance in Sweden and believe that we are taking market shares. LeoVegas is today the single largest casino brand in Sweden. Our focus on product and customer experience, our knowledge about regulated markets and our strong brand position contribute to the positive development. On top of this, the launches of GoGoCasino and Pixel.bet have been successful, and the brands are appreciated by our Swedish customers.

As a large and long-term player both in Sweden and globally, we at LeoVegas want to participate in changing the perception of the industry. There is a strong need today to educate and inform the general public, opinion-shapers and politicians about our industry, what we stand for and the work we are doing – not least in responsible gaming and sustainability. This is important for ensuring that we work together to secure that the new regulation is a success with high participation in the licence system, i.e. that there is a high level of channelization, and with extensive consumer protections.

Expansion
Only two weeks after we received our licence in Spain, we went live as the first newly licensed operator. This shows the strength and speed of LeoVegas and further demonstrates that our experience from regulated markets benefits us. Spain is a step in our continued expansion, and we have also recently carried out launches in other Spanish-speaking countries, such as Chile and Peru, as well as in Brazil.

Technology
During the quarter we migrated our technology to Google Cloud. The move will allow us to better scale our technical infrastructure environment without having to invest in hardware. Within the product innovation area, we have, among other things, launched improved search functionality, multiplay on mobile devices and new, exclusive casino games for LeoVegas customers.

Financial targets
We reiterate our ambitious financial targets to achieve EUR 600 m in revenue and EBITDA of EUR 100 m by 2021. We want to clarify that the targets are based primarily on organic growth, but also include revenue from potential future acquisitions.

Comments on the third quarter
Revenue for the month of July was EUR 29.7 m (27.1), representing growth of 9%.

LeoVegas has opted to not apply for a licence in the recently re-regulated Swiss market, and as a result we are no longer accepting business in that market. Switzerland accounted for EUR 2.2 m in revenue during the second quarter.

Our current assessment is that the Group’s marketing costs will increase during the third quarter compared with the second quarter, both in relation to revenue and in absolute figures.

Final words
We have once again presented a quarter with organic growth combined with good profitability. The investments made in 2018 and efficiency improvement work carried out thus far in 2019 are beginning to generate returns in the form of greater scalability of operations. Despite this, we are not content and are working continually to be even better. The external market environment in several key markets is currently more turbulent and difficult to predict than previously, which is creating new challenges and requirements, but at the same time it is presenting major opportunities for us to grow and take market shares. We continue to focus on becoming the global casino company number 1 – we are King of Casino!

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: LeoVegas AB: Quarterly report 1 april – 30 june 2019

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BMM Testlabs Announces Record First Half 2019 Financial Results

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BMM Testlabs, the world’s leading gaming testlab and product compliance consultancy, is pleased to announce record first half financial results for 2019.

“Momentum from successive record financial years between 2016 and 2018 has continued into the first half 2019. Importantly, year-on-year actual growth is balanced across revenue, gross margin and EBITDA, reflecting significant investments in people, processes and systems across the business, worldwide,” reported President and CEO Martin Storm.

Storm added, “New growth is being driven by large gaming manufacturers, iGaming B2B and B2C clients and new levels of operational scale achieved from all of our labs around the world. Importantly, quality, velocity and service continues to exceed industry competition and BMM continues to win new business, competitively. BMM now operates in 460 gaming jurisdictions and counts more than 500 customers.”

Storm continued, “After 13 years of engagement, BMM applauds the Illinois legislature’s changes to gaming lab rules allowing for lab competition in Illinois and gaming manufacturer’s choice of the best lab for their product lines.”

BMM is one of only two gaming labs serving gaming manufacturers, regulators and operators throughout the world.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: BMM Testlabs Announces Record First Half 2019 Financial Results

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Mercedes-Benz launches a Russia-based esports campaign together with Publicis Sport & Entertainment and ESforce Holding

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A premium automotive brand Mercedes-Benz announced the start of the Most Valuable Fan campaign aimed at Russian esports fans. As part of the campaign, a national fan competition will take place throughout August, September and October, culminating at a special event in Moscow during ESL One Hamburg 2019 playoffs. Following the outcome of the vote among the esports community and members of the jury, the chosen fan will receive the title of the Most Valuable Fan and a Mercedes-Benz A-Сlass vehicle.

This partnership between Mercedes-Benz, Publicis Sport & Entertainment, and ESforce holding is a continuation of the brand’s devotion to creating unforgettable experiences for both fans and the players. In 2016, Mercedes-Benz became a partner of ESL, founding the Most Valuable Player campaign taking place for the second consecutive year. As per 2019, viewers and members of the expert community have helped award the best ESL tournaments players with 5 automobiles worth a total of €250 000. Virtus.pro (a member of ESforce holding) players have won this award three times: Alexei Solo Berezin was the MVP of ESL One Hamburg 2017, Vladimir RodjER Nikogosyan and Vladimir No[o]ne Minenko became MVPs of ESL One Katowice and ESL One Birmingham in 2018.

“The Russian esports community is among the most engaged and active communities in the world, — says Mercedes-Benz Press Office. — However, the fans’ devotion to their favorite disciplines, teams or tournaments is rarely rewarded. We want to say “thank you” to all the fans who travel long hours to visit their favorite tournaments, meet their favorite teams in airports, prepare banners and touching gifts for their idols, share their hobby with their friends and do everything in their power to help esports grow. We hope that the Most Valuable Fan campaign will help elevate esports fan culture to a new level. We are happy to begin our first esports partnership in Russia with the fans themselves!”

To enter the raffle, one needs to register at http://mbmvf.cybersport.ru website, record a video of 5 minutes or less in which fans would talk about their experience supporting esports, fill in a form, and pass moderation. All citizens of Russia who are 18 or older and have a driver’s license may take part in the contest. With support the fan community and esports celebrity jury consisting of renowned journalists, casters, and fans, the brand will choose three finalists. They will then receive a ticket to the event’s grand finale — a closed award ceremony in Moscow. The event will take place in Yota Arena during ESL One Hamburg 2019 final stage.

“We consider this one of the most important esports projects of the year, its importance for the gaming community and the market as a whole is undeniable. We are certain this campaign will gain a lot of traction on the international market, even though it is being implemented on the territory of Russia. Mercedes expands the horizons and pushes esports to a whole new level. We are happy to be a part of this project. Let the best fan win!” — says Sergey Barkhudaryan, Head of Publicis Sport & Entertainment.

“Mercedes-Benz arrival to the Russian esports market is a clear signal for the community and the industry as a whole. The “Most Valuable Fan” project shows how involved Russian esports audience is on the international level, how much its activity and engagement into their idols’ life is evident on the worldwide scale. We are happy to partner with Mercedes, and we are sure that it is just one step further in a series of large-scale campaigns to reward the fans for their passion for esports, loyalty and compassion to their favorite teams and tournaments,” — says Alexander Kim, ESforce Holding Commercial Director.

More details at http://mbmvf.cybersport.ru.

 

Mercedes-Benz Russia AO is a Russian company, a subsidiary of Daimler Group. Daimler AG (Daimler-Benz AG in 1994) was the first foreign automotive company to establish a subsidiary AOZT Mercedes-Benz Avtomobili in the territory of the Russian Federation on December 8, 1994. Mercedes-Benz Russia AO is the only official importer of Mercedes-Benz cars and vans, as well as smart cars in Russia.

In 2013 the company launched production of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Classic vans at the GAZ plant in Nizhny Novgorod, as well as diesel engines for them in Yaroslavl. In 2018 the company became the leader in the automotive premium segment in Russia for the sixth time running. On April, 3 2019 the gala opening of the production plant for Mercedes-Benz cars in the Moscow region took place.

2019 is an anniversary year for Mercedes-Benz: the brand celebrates 125 years long brand history in Russia.

Publicis Sport & Entertainment is the sports marketing division of Publicis Groupe, headquartered in London. Unit provides clients with full-service support of the whole Groupe but specializing in the sports industry: from strategy and creativity to media, sponsorship of sports events and licensing. Unit operates in all major international markets and provides its services to major global brands: P&G, Mercedes, Heineken, Samsung, Mondelez, Gazprom Neft, Coty, Duracell, EA, etc. As well as sport right holders: FIFA, NBA, Zenit, Russian Premier League, IOC, etc.

ESforce Holding is one of the world’s largest esports organizations and the leader of electronic sports in Russia. The holding company integrates all key areas of the esports business, from organizing international tournaments and professional content creation to publishing and advertising activities. ESforce owns over 220 popular online resources with a combined audience of 12 million followers and 114 million annual unique visitors, which provide a 90-percent reach to esports broadcast viewers in Russia and the CIS as well as access to a significant share of relevant international audiences. In 2018, the holding became part of the largest technology company in Russia, Mail.Ru Group.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Mercedes-Benz launches a Russia-based esports campaign together with Publicis Sport & Entertainment and ESforce Holding

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Sasebo Chamber of Commerce Confirms Speakers for August 27th Seminar

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The Sasebo Chamber of Commerce / Nagasaki Marine IR Promotion Council have confirmed speakers for their seminar to be held on 27 August (Tuesday) at the Fuji International Hotel located in Sasebo City. Speakers will include Mr. Brendan Bussmann of Global Market Advisors, Dr. Glenn McCartney of the University of Macau and the Irish and European Chambers of Commerce (Macau), and Mr. Niall Murray, President of the Irish Chamber of Commerce (Macau). The seminar is expected to attract between 50 and 100 participants including local businesses from throughout Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture and the Greater Kyushu Region. Presentations will include overviews on how the private sector should begin to formulate engagement plans with IR operators, as well as best practices with regards to how other Chambers of Commerce engage with both IR operators and the local business communities.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Sasebo Chamber of Commerce Confirms Speakers for August 27th Seminar

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