A strong fourth quarter led to record numbers in both revenue and EBITDA for the full year 2017
Fourth quarter (Oct-Dec 2017)
• Revenues increased by 27% to MEUR 19.2 (15.1)
• B2B Revenues increased by 40% to MEUR 10.3 (7.3)
• EBITDA increased by 35% to MEUR 3.8 (2.8)
• EBITDA margin increased to 20% (19%)
• EBIT increased by 33% to MEUR 3.5 (2.6)
• Earnings after tax amounted to MEUR 3.3 (3.7)
• Basic earnings per share*, after tax, from continued operations amounted to EUR 0.03 (0.09)
• First Time Depositors (FTDs) increased by 55% to 68.0 thousand (43.8)
Full year (Jan-Dec 2017)
• Revenues increased by 18% to MEUR 71.9 (61.0)•
• B2B Revenues increased by 24% to MEUR 37.1 (30.0)
• EBITDA increased by 25% to MEUR 14.3 (11.4)
• EBITDA margin increased to 20% (19%)
• EBIT increased by 22% to MEUR 13.0 (10.6)
• Earning after tax amounted to MEUR 12.3 (11.6)
• Basic earnings per share*, after tax, from continued operations amounted to EUR 0.23 (0.28)
• First Time Depositors (FTDs) increased by 37% to 246.1 thousand (179.4)
• The Board of Directors proposes that a dividend of approximately 3.8 MEUR, or 0.85 SEK per share, to be paid for the 2017 financial year
* Basic earnings per share after tax, from continued operations, adjusted for Aspire Global’s share in the results of associated companies amounted to 0.07 EUR and 0.27 EUR for the fourth quarter of 2017 and full year 2017, respectively
In November 2017 Aspire Global launched Mr. Play, a new fully regulated casino and sports betting brand, through a joint venture with industry veterans. Aspire Global holds 40 percent of the shares in the company and will be investing up to 2 MEUR of totally 4 MEUR, based on business milestones. Aspire global will be generating revenues from providing technology and core services on market terms.
In January 2018, Aspire Global expanded the company’ gaming portfolio through the game hub of iSoftBet with access to dozens of additional games providers, in addition to iSoftBet’s in-house titles; all of which are licensed in multiple jurisdictions such as the UK, Denmark, Portugal, and .COM regions.
In January 2018, Aspire Global launched Sportsbook through the proprietary brand Karamba; aiming at becoming the first provider of a full turnkey solution to sport operators. Sportsbook is an attractive addition to the B2B-offering and part of the company’s long-term plan for strategic growth.
Today, on February 15th 2018, 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), which will be webcasted live through the following link: https://financialhearings.com/event/10774. The meeting, including the Q&A-session, is also available by calling one of the telephone numbers below. The complete interim report and the presentation material is available at Aspireglobal.com.
Sweden: +46 8 566 426 62 UK: +44 20 3008 9801 US: +1 855 753 2236
As we conclude 2017, we can see that our scalable offering and dedicated focus on B2B is really paying off, with an overall growth of 18% in revenue and 25% in EBITDA year-on-year. The B2B segment alone grew by 40%. In the fourth quarter, we mobilized to compensate for the income loss from Australia through strong performance in our other markets, while finalizing the upcoming launch of Sportsbook. The fourth quarter is usually our strongest quarter in terms of seasonality, but given the circumstances it was particularly pleasing that December became our best month ever as for revenues.
2017 – a game changer
2017 was a game changer for Aspire Global. We went from being a private player to becoming a public listed company, from having a few key accounts to widening of our customer base, and finally from general expansion to further strengthening our focus on regulated markets. We are currently active in six regulated markets. Nearly 70 percent of the company revenue in 2018 is expected to be generated from taxed, regulated or soon to be regulated markets. Moreover, we conducted the acquisition of Minotauro media as well as significant investments to support continued growth in the coming years. Out of our investments, the addition of a sports vertical to our platform is the single most important initiative for organic growth. Despite these events and a series of completed investments for the coming years, we managed to stay focused on our core business, driving organic growth with sustained, strong profitability. Revenues for 2017 increased by 18%, amounting to 71.9 MEUR (61.0), and EBITDA grew by 25%, totaling 14.3 MEUR (11.4), with an EBITDA-margin of 20%.
Fourth quarter – rising to the challenge
The fourth quarter was the first full quarter without any contribution from Australia, following the exit in September. Thanks to cost-effective reactivation campaigns we were able to compensate for this loss, well above expectations. Revenue increased by 27% to MEUR 19.2 (15.1) and EBITDA increased by 35% to MEUR 3.8 (2.8). We also launched Mr Play; a new casino and sports betting brand managed by a joint venture of industry veterans. Mr Play was off to a good start in time for the holidays, reaching significant positions in the important affiliates sites.
After a busy ending to 2017, including the fine-tuning of Sportsbook, the new year began with the launch of the sports vertical, where the proprietary brand Karamba became the first operator to offer Sportsbook to its players. Coming B2B launches are expected through Mr Play and Nossa Aposta in Portugal. We also expanded the game portfolio through the game hub of iSoftbet, including titles from dozens of game providers in addition to the in-house titles. As for Sportsbook, we’re happy to have finalized this major and complex project and the timing couldn’t be better; enabling our partners to get aboard, and ourselves to reach full speed well in time for the World Cup in June. Sports is a central pillar of the company’s long-term growth plan and through this addition, including unique features, we become the first provider of a full turnkey solution to sports betting operators well in time for the World cup, let alone with access to six regulated markets.
2018 – Entering the next level
We look forward to keep growing organically together with our existing partners, as well as additional partners waiting to get on-board. Having nearly doubled the number of partners over the past year and entered into sports, means we will need to adjust our infra-structure to support a growing business. In the past year, we expanded the technological infra-structure in Malta to ensure increased capacity and we will keep on investing in technology and manpower for continued growth. Entering into sports, which is the largest category of the iGaming field, adds value to our current partners, while opening up for new partnerships and innovative business setups.
We are currently preparing for the upcoming regulation of the Swedish gaming market. In May, 2018, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will become fully enforceable throughout the European Union and we are currently fine-tuning minor aspects of the operations to comply with new regulations. The company is already operating on a level that is fairly in line with the GDPR, and has been so for a while. We welcome stronger integrity protection and do not expect any negative implications for our business.
Having become a publicly listed company, we are approached with a growing number of attractive business opportunities; allowing us to be more selective in terms of long-term potential. In this context, we continue to evaluate interesting projects and possible acquisitions as well as potential financing of such, including different sources of debt financing if we determine that the terms for such financing are attractive and enable continued growth. For the same reason, the dividend for 2017 has been set by the board to 3.8 MEUR, equivalent to approximately 30% of the company’s net profit after tax, enabling potential acquisitions ahead.
Tsachi Maimon, CEO, Tel: +356-79777898 or email: email@example.com
Motti Gil, CFO, Tel: +972-73 372 3154 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About this information
Aspire global discloses the information provided herein pursuant to the Securities markets Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submitted for publication by the contact person above at 08:15 am (CET) on February 15th, 2018.
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 optimisation and a robust, market-leading platform. Aspire Global also holds licenses in regulated markets including the UK, Denmark, Belgium, Italy and Malta. Aspire Global is listed on NASDAQ First North Premier under ASPIRE. Certified Adviser: FNCA Sweden AB