Tuesday May 7,2013 : INTERNET OPERATIONS GOOD FOR CHERRY IN FIRST QUARTER 2013
Online revenues up 35 percent and deposits increased 84 percent.
The Swedish and Malta-based online and land gambling group Cherry has posted a solid Q1-2013 interim report ending March 31, and highlighting the following key performance indicators:
* The company sold its Automaten sites for SEK 286 million, a profit of SEK 26.4 million.
* Online gaming grew 35 percent, with deposits up 84 percent.
* Group turnover increased 14 percent to SEK 59.8 million (Q1-2012: SEK 52.3 million).
* EBIT was down at SEK -1.3 million (1.4).
* Group Cash amounted to SEK 262.7 million (45.3) at the end of the period.
* Restaurant Casino increased turnover and market share to 59 percent (up 3 percent on last year).
* In January Cherry achieved sports betting licensing status in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein to provide online casino gaming.
* The company filed a lawsuit at the Oslo City Court against the Norwegian state regarding an injunction issued by the Lottery-og Stiftelsestilsynet, against Cherry AB concerning Eurolotto.com. This was later withdrawn (see trading update below).
Management gave a trading update, advising:
* The board has proposed a share redemption program equivalent to SEK 11.20 per share.
* Cherry has as the first customer signed an agreement and invested in the new company Yggdrasil Gaming Ltd. Yggdrasil offers an innovative range of number games and in May, the company was awarded a Class 4 license from the LGA in Malta.
* After the Norwegian Lotteritillsynet announced that it would not take any further action against Cherry AB, Cherry revoked the lawsuit against the Norwegian Government regarding EuroLotto.com.
Emil Sunvisson, CEO, said that the sale of the Automaten sites has had a major effect on the quarter.
"We are very pleased to have been able to realise the value in the Automaten sites and can conclude that the Automaten sites have been a very good and profitable business for Cherry and Cherry's shareholders," he said.
"The sale is a new start for Cherry's online business, where future growth will be created from our own platform, where, we ourselves, control customers, products and offers. Cherry has a very strong cash position, even after the proposed extraordinary dividend, and this will be used for a more aggressive marketing strategy and strategic investments to ensure future growth.
"An example of our new ventures is the investment in the new company Yggdrasil, which has a great growth potential, although the company still is in an early stage and has a lot to prove."
Sunvisson said that the company's intensified effort in online gambling using its own platform was creating growth.
"EuroSlots has developed positively, contributing to a healthy growth during the first quarter. The business is increasing rapidly, and a number of new initiatives will be rolled out during the year, including the re-launch of CherryCasino.com and the launch of regional adapted sites.
"I interpret Lotteritillsynet’s notification that it will not take further action against Cherry as a victory for us and for the Norwegian players looking for an alternative to Norsk Tipping. We will continue to offer EuroLotto to our customers in Europe, Norway included."