FIRST QUARTER (JAN-MARCH 2019)
• Revenues increased by 81.0% to €33.2 million (18.4)
• B2B Revenues increased by 100.3% to €19.5 million (9.7), constituting 58.6% of total revenues. Including inter-segment charges, B2B-revenues increased by 95.5% to €21.5 million (11.0)
• EBITDA increased by 116.9% to €6.1 million (2.8), or €6.4 million adjusted for the one-time expense item related to the Swedish penalty
• EBITDA for B2B increased by 129% to €4.2 million (1.8), constituting 68.6% of total EBITDA. Adjusted for the Swedish penalty, EBITDA for B2B was €4.5 million
• EBITDA margin amounted to 18.3% (15.3%)
• EBIT increased to €5.2 million (2.4)
• Earnings after tax increased to €4.1 million (1.9)
• Earnings per share after tax increased to €0.09 (0.04)
• First time depositors (FTDs) increased by 72.1% to 119.1 thousand (69.2)
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS DURING AND AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER
• January 1st 2019, Ziv Shtaeinberg was appointed as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and member of the management team at Aspire Global, leading the technology site in Kiev, Ukraine.
• February 6th 2019, the Board of Directors proposed a dividend on behalf of the 2018 financial year results equivalent to 1.27 SEK per share, subject to the shareholders’ approval.
• April 23rd 2019, Swedish gaming authority Spelinspektionen resolved on a warning and a penalty fee of SEK 3 million (around €300 thousand) following the delayed integration with Spelpaus.
• May 9th 2019, Aspire Global announced the upcoming launch of Vipps Casino together with industry veterans, planned for H2 2019. Aspire Global will be investing up to €1.5 million based on a milestone agreement and the acquisition of shares. Vipps Holdings on their side, will be investing in the tech infrastructure and marketing in order to create unique features for the brand.
• May 10th 2019, Aspire Global announced the upcoming re-launch of Digibet together with NEG Group Limited. Digibet will go live on Aspire Global’s platform in H2 2019, targeting several European markets including Germany. The agreement grants Aspire Global access to a German betting license upon coming regulation. Aspire Global will be investing up to €2.0 million based on a milestone agreement and the acquisition of shares. NEG Group on their side, will manage marketing activities, bringing valuable expertise related to the key markets and acquisition channels.
A WORD FROM THE CEO
2019 came off to a very good start with revenues exceeding levels of the fourth quarter – quite contrary to our seasonal pattern. The strong progress was a result of improved retention services for our partners as well as a number of medium sized partners undergoing a growth spurt. All-in-all, revenues in the past 12 months are approaching €120 million with an EBITDA approaching €25 million.
GROWING OUR B2B BUSINESS
I am happy to see that we managed to maintain our growth momentum in the first quarter, quite contrary to our seasonal pattern and despite the market head-wind. I am especially pleased to see that we are growing our B2B-business, where both revenues and earnings are steadily increasing, constituting a larger share of company total – 59% of the company’s total revenues and 69% of EBITDA for the first quarter. All-in-all, revenues in the past 12 months are approaching €120 million with an EBITDA approaching €25 million, and in the coming year, we are hoping to see a growth spurt for some of last year’s key launches.
After the turn-of the quarter, we finalized the details in a couple of upcoming projects. Up-comer Vipps casino and the well-known betting brand Digibet will both go live on Aspire Global’s platform in H2 2019, with expected effect as of H1 2020. Digibet (previously on another platform) will be re-launched together with NEG Group, while Vipps Casino is an innovation by Vipps Holding, industry veterans from leading iGaming companies. The agreement with Digibet is particularly interesting as it grants Aspire Global access to a German betting license upon coming regulation. Both projects will benefit from committed investments in marketing from their respective founders, but also from Aspire Global through the acquisition of shares where the majority of the investment will be spent on marketing.
STRENGTHENING INFRASTRUCTURE AND SUSTAINABILITY WORK
We are taking further steps in our global expansion through the recent development of our Ukrainian office, which will ensure the appropriate infrastructure and flexibility for various market conditions and coming integrations following future growth. In addition to the appointment of a group CTO, who is based in Kiev as of 2019, we will continue to recruit additional tech-talent, more than doubling the Ukrainian working force compared to before.
We will be strengthening our sustainability work in the coming year based on several focus areas in each of which we have identified our key challenges and set a clear vision going forward. We intend to intensify our efforts over the coming months and to do so in a manner that can be quantified, to enable a clear presentation of our performance as of next year’s annual reports.
LOOKING FORWARD TO MEETING WITH OUR SHAREHOLDERS AT TOMORROW’S AGM
Following the strong performance in 2018, the board has proposed a dividend of SEK 1.27 per share. I look forward to tomorrow’s annual general meeting, where I hope to meet with many of our shareholders.
Tsachi Maimon, CEO
ABOUT THIS INFORMATION
Aspire global discloses the information provided herein pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation
(MAR). The information was submitted for publication by the contact persons above at 08:15 am (CEST) on May 13th 2019.
This document is the English original. In the event of any discrepancy between the original English document and the Swedish translation, the English original shall prevail.
Today, on May 13th 2019, at 10:00 (CET), the company CEO, Tsachi Maimon, and CFO, Motti Gil, will be presenting the report and answering questions at a teleconference (in English).
The teleconference will be webcasted live through the following link: https://tv.streamfabriken.com/aspire-global-q1-2019. The meeting, including the Q&A-session, is also available by dialing-in on the numbers below.
The complete interim report and the presentation material is available at http://www.aspireglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/AGQ119-FINAL.pdf
The Annual General Meeting (the “AGM”) of Aspire Global which will be held on Tuesday, May 14th 2019 at 14:00 at Pareto Securities offices, Berzelii Park 9 in Stockholm, Sweden.
ABOUT ASPIRE GLOBAL
Founded in 2005, Aspire Global offers a comprehensive iGaming solution for operators and white labels, including a complete suite of services for casino and sportsbook, multilingual CRM, payments and risk control, support call center, VIP management, acquisition optimization and a robust, market-leading platform. Aspire Global also holds licenses in regulated markets including the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Malta. Aspire Global is listed on NASDAQ First North Premier under ASPIRE. Certified Advisor: FNCA Sweden AB, email@example.com, +46-8-528 00 399. Please visit www.aspireglobal.com.