Sazka first quarter revenue rises 30%
European lottery operator SAZKA Group has reported a 30% per cent increase in gross gaming revenue to €526 million
EBITDA increased by 20% year-on-year to €133 million. Adjusted EBITDA was €360 million. Profit after tax increased by 44% year-on-year to €35 million.
Robert Chvatal, SAZKA Group CEO, commented: I am pleased to report that SAZKA Group delivered a robust performance in Q1. Our GGR increased by 30% year on year and our Adjusted EBITDA increased by 4% with a healthy margin of 51%.
The first three months of 2021 have once again shown that we are well positioned thanks to our diverse range of products, sales channels and geographical exposure, our rapidly expanding online business, our favourable cost structure, and the strong cash flow generation of our business.
I am particularly encouraged by the trading performance of our businesses in the Czech Republic and Italy and of Austrian Lotteries, all of which posted record sales in the quarter. Our new products and improvements to our existing portfolio across geographies – for example, a new annuity game in the Czech Republic, and fun, themed event draws in Austria – continue to drive sales.
Another reason for this excellent performance has been our strong online momentum. Online was already a major strategic focus for us before COVID-19 and our experience in the last year has only emphasised the benefits of the online channel. COVID-19 has allowed us to increase our user base faster than would have otherwise been the case, with significant increases in registrations and active users, as well as several exciting product launches. Importantly, we have maintained this strong momentum as restrictions have eased.
In the Czech Republic our online business delivered 37% of GGR in Q1 and Stoiximan in Greece – which is a fully online business – had another extremely strong quarter delivering €103m of GGR, an increase of 61% year on year, and €28m of EBITDA in Q1.
Whilst our Greece business and the Austrian and international Casinos were impacted by COVID-19 in Q1, restrictions have now eased. Our experience of Q3 last year when restrictions were relaxed and our most recent trading data gives us confidence us that activity in these areas will recover well.
We have also continued our solid progress on our strategic objectives. In Q1 2020, the Group acquired another 4.31% shareholding in Casinos Austria AG which takes our shareholding to almost 60%. We are now making good progress in the restructuring of the Austrian casinos, which we expect to deliver around €45 million of annual cost savings, future-proofing the casinos to deliver a flexible, resilient, and profitable business. Taken together with the good performance of Austrian Lotteries we are very pleased with the improved performance of our Austrian business since we acquired control in June 2020, and delighted to have increased our interest further.
On the tech side, we have continued to focus on first party data as a source of value and for player protection, and we have made numerous exciting improvements to our customer proposition, for example tournaments integration for our recently launched sports betting app in the Czech Republic. We are also very pleased to have launched Stoiximan’s in-house sports betting platform.
Overall, I am very pleased with SAZKA Group’s continuing strong performance in Q1 2021. I look forward to a great year as our strong trading momentum persists, our impacted businesses in Greece and Austria return to normal conditions, and we continue to make progress on our strategic objectives.”