NetEnt to cut head office jobs in efficiency drive
NetEnt is cutting up to 55 jobs at its Stockholm headquarters as it looks to free up resources to ramp up new game development.
The casino games suplier said it is seeking to reduce staff numbers immediately at its Swedish hub, with jobs affected mainly in corporate support functions. The redundancies are likely to lead to a one-off cost of around SEK20m for the fourth quarter of the year.
"By decentralizing our operations we take another step towards a new NetEnt, where customers and players are in focus," the supplier's chief executive Therese Hillman explained. "The new organization will have clearer responsibilities and more emphasis on value-creating initiatives."
In particular the supplier will look to allocate more resources to game production, with Hillman noting that the company would look to release up to 35 games in 2019.
The announcement comes two months after Hillman revealed that the business was looking to cut costs in a bid to streamline operations and speed up development cycles.
NetEnt's offices in Sweden employed 415 people on average last year, with the majority in Stockholm. The company had a headcount of 1,002 across its offices in six countries.
In its most recent quarterly filing, NetEnt said operating expenses amounted to SEK 277.2m, a year-on-year increase of 11% it explained was primarily due to more staff in Live Casino and higher depreciation. Operating profit of SEK 172m was up 11% on Q3 2017.
Meanwhile, NetEnt also noted that it would incur an additional SEK5m in costs relating to the write-down of intangible assets regarding a virtual reality development project – on the same day it announced the launch of VR casino Ninja Casino Live with the no-registration operator.
“Our ground-breaking exclusive virtual casinos have breathed new life into the live casino experience," NetEnt chief product officer Henrik Fagerlund commented. "They take the offering to a new level and allow operators to maximize results by having significant input into the design and build of the product.”
Dirk Camilleri, head of casino at Ninja Casino parent company Global Gaming, added that inclusion of a dedicated Swedish-speaking dealer was particularly important ahead of that market’s re-regulation next month.
“Ninja Casino Live will enable us to offer a completely new, fully immersive casino experience on mobile,” Camilleri said.
“We are thrilled to be the first operator to launch a dedicated Swedish blackjack table on a NetEnt exclusive casino and are very pleased with the level of customisation that will increase engagement, with Ninja Casino Live fitting perfectly into our Ninja Casino offering.”