Casino closures impact full-year trading performance at Svenska Spel

Svenska Spel has published its full-year and Q4 trading results, citing good growth and increased revenues for sports betting, number games and lotteries.
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Sweden’s state-owned lottery and gaming operator, Svenska Spel, has published its full-year and Q4 trading results for 2020, citing continued good growth for two of its three business areas, with increased revenues for sports betting, number games and lotteries during Q4.

Updating investors, the operator advised that the digital business is developing strongly, while on the product side it has delivered improved gaming experiences and record sales.

More negatively, the company stated that the continued closure of physical casinos has had a major impact on its total revenues and earnings. Net gaming revenues for the group amounted to SEK 7,674m (8,579), a decrease of 11% or 9% excluding a 2019 revenue adjustment of SEK 163m.

The closures, said the group, directly resulted in SEK 777m in reduced net gaming revenues. Operating profit for the group totalled SEK 2,395m (2,466), a decrease of SEK 71m or 3%.

Despite the gloomy figures, President and CEO Patrik Hofbauer remained positive, saying: “We have good profitability for the group and strengthen the operating margin for both the quarter (Q$) and the full year 2020, despite the fact that our physical casinos have been closed for three quarters.

“As in the previous quarter, revenues for our Sport & Casino and Tur business areas are increasing. This shows strength and stability that two out of three business areas deliver growth despite the fact that they are also affected by covid-19 in the form of temporary gaming responsibility measures and reduced sales in stores.”

The Group’s Q4 net gaming revenues were SEK 2,128m, down 8% year-on-year. This excluded a non-recurring income corresponding to the quarter last year. Net gaming revenue for the Sport & Casino business area in Q4 increased by 10% compared with the same quarter last year, excluding non-recurring revenue. The Tur business, meanwhile, improved by 3%. The Casino Cosmopol & Vegas business experienced a 62% shortfall.

The digital business, said the group, is growing strongly and accounted for 48% of its revenues during Q4 and 46% during the full year. The Tur business area managed to break sales records online during the quarter.

The fourth quarter saw several records broken, notably Stryktipset delivering record sales of SEK 49m on the second day of Christmas. In number games and tickets, records were broken in both the number of gift tickets sold and total digital sales of tickets. During the full year, Svenska Spel also distributed a record 455 million wins totaling more than SEK 1.8bn.