Wednesday December 4, 2013 : REVENUE PLUNGES AT SCANDINAVIAN ONLINE GAMBLING COMPANY
Nordic Leisure revenues take a 51.2 percent hit as firm moves East
Investors in the Scandinavian online gambling group Nordic Leisure will be alarmed by the latest financial stats from the company, which this week reported on its Q3-2013 results.
Revenues were 51.2 percent down at SEK 12 million compared with the SEK 24.6 million achieved in the comparable quarter in 2012.
EBITDA also declined by more than half, dropping to SEK 1.3 million from last year's SEK 3 million.
Chairman Niklas Braathen said that the July 1 sale of Redbet, which had contributed a substantial amount to company coffers in terms of revenues, had clearly impacted the performance figures.
Other highlights of the report included:
* Profit after tax amounted to SEK 38.9 M (2.7).
* Earnings per share amounted to SEK 1.02 (0.10).
* Active player accounts were up at 6551 (6257 in Q3-2012).
* Optiwin OÜ received a final operating license for business in Estonia and opened offices in Tallinn.
* The group's Latvian company SIA Optibet acquired the Latvian company SIA Darta which owns a commercial property in Riga in which SIA Optibet operates. The purchase price for SIA Darta amounted to Euro 1,575,000.
* The company's Swedish group headquarters was moved from Stockholm to Sigtuna. This resulted in the CEO and CFO, respectively Claes Hallén and Andreas Helsing, agreeing to depart in 2014 with severance packages.
Braathen said that with the sale of Redbet, the company has created a strong platform for focused and successful growth in the Eastern European online gambling markets. All gaming activity would now be centred under the Livonia Gaming subsidiary, which itself heads a group that includes wholly-owned licensed subsidiaries in Tallinn, Riga and Malta, and employs approximately 110 employees, including 50 at operational headquarters in Riga.
These activities are currently conducted under the brands Optibet and Gold Club Casino.
The focus on the Eastern European markets has resulted in the company doubling its staff in Riga, Latvia.
"It is my opinion that we possess a good position to take advantage of the business opportunities we see in these markets, and I eagerly look forward to the cooperation with our management team are now given the ability to deliver future value to our shareholders," said Braathen.
Expanding further on the upcoming departures of Hallén and Helsing, Braathen said that they would leave the company after the 2014 agm in May next year.
"Nordic Leisure and its subsidiary Livonia Gaming, the holding company for the activities of operating subsidiaries in Estonia, Latvia and Malta, has moved its Swedish office from Stockholm to Sigtuna," Braathen explained.
"The time was ripe for a reorganization of the management team. After the divestiture by Redbet, we are now entering a new phase, and develop our existing brands with a clear focus on major markets in the former Soviet Union.
“I would like to thank both Claes Hallén and Andreas Helsing for their work and excellent contributions to the company. "
Hallen who has been CEO of Nordic Leisure AB since 23 May 2012, and is member of the board said that the group's gaming operations are profitable and growing, and that it was time for him to step down. He said he would actively participate in the search for a new CEO for the group, where he would continue to serve on the board.