March 22 2018

ZEAL Group confirms 2017 results exceed guidance following strong fourth quarter

 

  • 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 today announced it delivered a strong performance in 2017, with results exceeding guidance in spite of the exceptionally weak jackpot environment during the third quarter of the year.

 

The Group confirmed, as it published its audited results for 2017, it has 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 were delivered in spite of the weak jackpot environment in the Group’s core products during the third quarter, higher hedging costs due to EuroMillions rule changes, 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. Our strong financial results, delivered in challenging conditions, demonstrate the underlying strength of our business. I am particularly pleased with our excellent fourth quarter performance in which we delivered our most successful new product launch ever. This, coupled with the progress we have made on being even more operationally efficient, gives me confidence for the future.”

 

The Group continued to make significant progress against its strategy by launching into three new international markets during the year, including two in the fourth quarter – Norway and the UK – which followed its second quarter launch in Ireland. In 2017, its sustained focus on customer acquisition delivered 411,000 new registered customers for the Group and its partners (2016: 314,000); an increase of 31%.

 

Dr. Helmut Becker, Chief Executive, ZEAL Group said: “2017 was a milestone year for the Group as we made good strategic progress: launching in three new markets, improving our product portfolio, enhancing our technology, being even more efficient, attracting more new customers, and continuing to unearth the lottery disruptors of the future.”

Dr Becker added: “The global regulatory environment continues to be challenging. However, we firmly believe the world’s lottery market is full of untapped potential. As a diverse and long-term focused business, we are well positioned to take advantage of those opportunities.”

 

 Selected financial 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 €17.2 million €26.0 million
Earnings per share €2.05 €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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