Svenska Spel down just weeks ahead of Swedish licence launch

20 July 2018

Swedish gaming monopoly Svenska Spel did little to quell concerns about its future after announcing a dip in revenue and operating profit just months ahead of the market’s liberalisation.

The company saw gaming revenues fall by 4% to SEK2bn (€190m/$220m) in the three months to June 30, with operating profit down around 11% to SEK975m.

On a brighter note, the company’s digital division saw revenue increase by around 20% year-on-year to SEK621m, and reaching almost a third of overall revenue. Mobile wagering was up around 42% compared to the same period last year.

However, while Svenska Spel said it experienced “turnover beyond expectations in connection with the World Cup” the fact is that it was down on the same period last year despite Q2 including the first two weeks of Russia 2018 when Sweden were on their way to topping a group that featured Germany, Mexico and South Korea. In contrast, fellow Swedish company Betsson this week revealed that its revenue was up 12% to SEK2.56bn in the six months to June 30.

Lennart Käll (pictured), Svenska Spel’s outgoing president and CEO suggested the figures were in part due to “more and more [people] voluntarily turning off or taking a break from gaming”.

He added: "We are still strong as the entire Swedish people's gaming company and meet customer demand for gaming experience with an expanded range and product development.

“Customers continue to give us high ratings in our satisfied customer index, and with broad margins we have the highest image value of the gaming companies. We look forward to the new gaming market.”

Svenska Spel’s optimism about its future was expressed just last week after it signed a deal to incorporate Evolution Gaming’s Live Casino content from January. Svenska Spel told iGamingBusiness.com that it is “positive” about the opportunities it anticipates in what it describes as the “fierce competition” of the re-regulated market.

The upcoming re-regulation of the Swedish iGaming market has led to a flurry of activity from international operators exploring the opportunity to secure a listing on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, Adam Kostyal, senior vice-president at Nasdaq, which operates the market, this week told iGamingBusiness.com.

As reported last week by iGamingBusiness.com, Sweden’s gaming regulator has urged operators to apply as early as possible when the licensing window opens on August 1 ahead of the market opening up in January 2019.