February 26 2018

Preliminary unaudited results: ZEAL Group exceeds guidance in 2017

 

  • EBIT of €25.2 million; above guidance range
  • Total Operating Performance of €141.2 million; above guidance range
  • 31% increase in new registered customers
  • Strong fourth quarter billings of €78.8 million; up 21% from third quarter

 

ZEAL Group, the world’s leading lottery innovator, today revealed it has exceeded guidance in 2017 as it announced its unaudited preliminary results for the year.

The Group delivered EBIT of €25.2 million and Total Operating Performance (TOP) of €141.2 million. Total billings for the year were maintained at €280.5 million[1].

The strong results exceeded guidance and were delivered in spite of an exceptionally weak jackpot environment during the third quarter of the year, higher hedging costs as a result of rule changes to EuroMillions, and significant pay-outs including a single €15 million prize in the first quarter.

The Group’s fourth quarter performance was particularly strong with billings of €78.8 million; up 21% since the third quarter. This was driven by a combination of its most successful new product launch to date with the introduction of Powerball, and record billings in the Spanish Christmas Lottery, El Gordo.

Jonas Mattsson, Chief Financial Officer, ZEAL Group, said: “2017 was an exciting and satisfactory year for ZEAL Group. We delivered strong financial results in challenging conditions, including an exceptionally strong fourth quarter performance. This just goes to highlight the underlying strength of our business, and gives me confidence for the future.”

The Group continued to make significant progress against its strategy by launching into three new international markets during year, including two in the fourth quarter – Norway and the UK. Its sustained focus on customer acquisition delivered 411,000 new registered customers for the Group and its partners in 2017; an increase of 31% compared to 2016.

Dr. Helmut Becker, Chief Executive, ZEAL Group said: “We made good strategic progress in 2017: launching in three new markets, improving our products, enhancing our technology and operational efficiency, acquiring more new customers, and continuing to unearth new ways to disrupt the lottery industry. While the regulatory environment remains challenging, we believe the global lottery market is full of, as yet, untapped potential. As a diverse and long-term focused business, we are well positioned to take advantage of those opportunities.”

In January 2018, ZEALGroup announced that through the implementation of its new hedging structure, delivered by associated company myLotto24, it has reduced its risk exposure by €20 million over two years, freed up €10 million of cash, improved the capital efficiency of its hedging operations and secured greater flexibility to match its international growth.

ZEAL Group will publish its audited annual results for 2017 on 22 March 2018.

 

 Selected preliminary unaudited results to 31 December 2017:

 

2017 2016
Billings €280.5 million €280.4 million
Statutory Revenue €134.3 million €112.9 million
TOP €141.2 million €139.6 million
Statutory EBIT €25.2 million €38.0 million
Net profit €16.3 million €26.0 million
Earnings per share €1.95 €3.09

 

2018 Outlook

For 2018, ZEAL Group expects to deliver EBIT in the range of €33 million – €43 million, and Total Operating Performance (TOP) of €150 million – €160 million. ZEAL Group expects to pay a dividend of at least €1.00 per share in 2018, subject to financial performance.

[1] Billings comprise all stakes from customers (including brokerage stakes) net of free bets

 

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