Live dealer pioneer Evolution saw its operating revenues increase by 38.6 per cent for its first quarter to €326.8m in a quarter that saw launch of Lightning Roulette in New Jersey with other states to follow.
After the end of the period, Evolution went live with an extensive set of online casino services for multiple operators in the new regulated online gaming market in Ontario, Canada. The first tables are also close to going live in the company’s new Madrid studio.
CEO Martin Carlesund said: “Even though we were happy to see the effects of the pandemic slowly subsiding in Europe and North America during the quarter our attention moved to the war and the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine created by the unprovoked invasion from Russia. At the start of the war Evolution had approximately 100 co-workers based in Kyiv. As for now, the war has limited direct financial impact on our business but emotionally it has affected us all. We will naturally continue to follow the development closely.”
The first quarter for Live Casino started very well with good momentum on most metrics resulting in a strong growth of 44 per cent.
Mr. Carlesund explained: “We experienced exceptional growth in the first half of 2021 so the comparable figures are demanding. 2022 has started very well and the entertainment and excitement that Live games offer continues to drive new as well as existing customers to our games.”
“RNG growth of 1.8 per cent year on year pro-forma is in line with our expectations. While structural efforts, such as the One Stop Shop and other cross sales activities are important elements, at the end of the day the key for improved growth is developing great games to all players. End-user satisfaction is always key and taking us there is not done overnight. The road to success will not be straight-lined but the focus and ambition is clear and I’m convinced that we will reach our growth ambitions over time.”
“The EBITDA margin of 70.3 per cent is a step up from the same period last year and within our guidance of 69 to 71 per cent for 2022. I’m happy with this delivery during Q1, especially considering the situation in the world with general cost increases not only relating to transport and energy. Looking ahead we see that the guidance of 69 71 per cent EBITDA margin remains.”
He added: “For us at Evolution, launching new games is what we live for. Creating new fantastic end-user experiences and simply put – to innovate! New games build loyalty among our existing players, introduce existing players to new games they have not played before and attract completely new categories of players. In Q1 we launched Bac Bo, a unique dice game which combines elements of the classic games Baccarat and Sic Bo. We also released Peek Baccarat which is another version of the classic Baccarat. In the quarter we also introduced new RNG titles such as Narcos Mexico and Knight Rider, as well as home grown brands like Doggy Riches Megaways and Zillard King. During the remaining part of the year, we have a very strong line up of new games both in RNG as well as in Live – a very exciting time indeed.”
“There is a continued strong demand for online casino across the globe. In North America we continue to expand all our studios, with Connecticut as the next studio to be launched during 2022. In Asia we also continue to experience good growth, while the more mature European markets are, in general, in slower growth mode – some due to regulatory changes affecting operators. However, we still see growth opportunities in Europe. LatAm also offers good potential going forward and continues to develop with several markets in discussions regarding regulation of their market for online gaming.”
“We are in the final preparations of Go-Live in our new studio in Madrid and as you read this the first tables are just opening! Also, we are moving closer to open our Yerevan studio to add even more capacity to the Evolution network. A lesson learned during the pandemic years is to not be too dependent on any one studio. Today we can efficiently allocate our resources within our network of fifteen studios and shift resources from one site to another when needed, without any impact on our delivery capacity. As we add studios to the network this becomes even more of a strength benefiting our operators. As earlier communicated, we expect total investments in new studios to increase also in 2022.
“We are well on our way into 2022, leaving the first quarter with good delivery and momentum. We strive to be better every single day, every single one of us, and we fight every day to increase the gap to our competitors. With our 88 new games 2022 we have shown what thousands and thousands of fantastic Evolution employees can achieve together. Evolution is a workplace where everyone is accepted and respected. Together, we hope for a brighter end of 2022 than the beginning,” he concluded,