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Betsson reports ‘weak’ trends across Sweden and the Netherlands

Betsson AB, who are listed in Stockholm, have come to report a further trading quartet of corporate adjustments, with the online gambling group continuing to experience multiple challenges throughout its core operating markets.

After publishing its Q3 2019 trading update (period ending 30 September), Betsson have continued to report trends which have been deemed as ‘weak’ across Sweden and the Netherlands, where they have recorded am 11 per cent decline in group revenues to SEK 1,275 million (Q3 2018: SEK 1,426m).

After competing against a tough comparative period, where the World Cup 2018 trading was featured, Betsson reported a 12 per cent decline in casino revenues to SEK 942 (Q3 2018: SEK 1,066m), while sportsbook revenues declined 7% to SEK 314 million (Q3 2018: SEK 338m).

When breaking down the performance of Betsson governance, it is reported that its regulated market taxed income has increased by 41 per cent during the trading period to SEK 457 million (Q3 2018: SEK 322m), this is the equivalent to 36 per cent of group revenues.

Betsson Group CEO Pontus Lindwall said: “Like the previous quarter, the third quarter has continued to pose challenges for us, as well as for several other companies in the gaming industry. We expect this development to continue and also affect the Swedish market to a greater extent than we have seen so far after the Swedish re-regulation.

“The regulated markets now also face major challenges regarding the degree of channelisation, which is one of the most important prerequisites for high consumer protection.

The impacts on the group revenue channels would also see Betsson operate at an  EBIT margin of 16.7 per cent (24 per cent), as the Stockholm enterprise has recorded a 28 per cent decline in EBITDA to SEK 305 million (Q3 2018:423m).

When countering its challenged, Betsson have reduced operating expenses to SEK 618 million (Q3 2018: SEK 669m), where governance has highlighted ‘continuous work on efficiencies’ and marketing expenses scaled back SEK 213 million (Q3 2018: SEK 246m).

Updating investors, chief executive Pontus Lindwall, has noted market realities but has also stressed Betsson’s strength in its geographical range– and its intention to grow through potential acquisitions.

Lindwall said: “Both revenue and operating profit are affected when significant markets develop negatively at the same time. Therefore, our geographical spread is valuable, and we see positive development in several of Betsson’s other markets, both locally regulated and non-locally regulated. We have seen favourable trends in other Western European countries but also in Central & Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA).”

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