Compliance key to LeoVegas

7 November 2018

LeoVegas CEO Gustaf Hagman believes the operator rose to the “compliance and sustainability” challenge in the third quarter after reporting a significant increase in revenue and depositing customers.

Revenue was up 41% year-on-year to €78.6m (£68.5m/$90m) during the three months through to the end of September, while EBITDA also climbed from €7.6m to €9m.

Net gaming revenue from regulated markets increased from 25.2% to 35.5%, while the number of depositing customers rocketed by 57% to a record 318,189.

Royal Panda, which LeoVegas acquired in November last year, enjoyed growth in the quarter, but Rocket X, the group brand for a number of purchased assets, saw a slight loss.

“[It was] a challenging quarter for our two largest markets (Sweden and UK), with greater focus on compliance and sustainability,” Hagman (pictured) said.

“The third quarter was a quarter of transition for LeoVegas as a group, during which we have focused on compliance measures, completion of platform development projects and other long-term investments to enable the next major steps in the company’s development.

“The work on meeting compliance requirements in the best way possible has been necessary and will give us a major competitive advantage.”

Expanding on this in an investor call, Hagman said LeoVegas has “always had a strong focus on regulatory compliance” and will continue to do so as it pushes forward with its growth plans.

While net gaming revenue from regulated markets currently sits at 35.5%, Hagman expects this to climb to 60% next year after the re-regulation of the Swedish market in January. LeoVegas has applied for a licence in the country.

Hagman outlined his optimism for further growth in Sweden, which, with 24% of the group’s revenue share, is just behind the UK on 25%. He also cited recent research by Mantab Global that places LeoVegas as the No.1 casino brand in Sweden.

Aside from Sweden, Hagman highlighted quarterly growth across other markets such as the UK, Germany, Denmark, Italy and Canada. For this reason, he said the firm remains hopefully of achieving its aim of posting €600m in revenue and EBITDA of €100m by the year 2020.

He said: “These targets are obviously more challenging today than when we communicated them this past spring, but we see good opportunities to reach them.”

Hagman also noted a strong start to Q4, with net gaming revenue for October at €26.6m, up 29% in last year.

He added: “I am convinced that the growth initiatives we have begun, and our renewed casino focus will take us back to the strong growth we have historically had. They give us good opportunities to create long-term sustainable value for our shareholders.”