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Sweden – Migration of land-based to live dealer boosts Evolution’s third quarter

By - 26 October 2016

The growing trend for land-based casino operators to live dealer online gaming has helped revenues increase for Evolution Gaming’s third quarter by 47 per cent to €29.2m, up from €19.8m.

The quarter included some breakthrough deals for Evolution’s land-based business with launch of Dual Play Roulette at The Ritz Club and The Hippodrome in London as well as the launch of Romania’s first regulated live casino studio at Grand Casino in Bucharest.
These deals helped profit for the period amount to €7.4m, up from €5.8m, whilst EBITDA increased by 37 per cent to €10.8m.

Jens von Bahr, CEO, said: “Live Casino continues to gain ground both in terms of strategic significance for operators and popularity with end-users, and we were therefore able to record yet another quarter of strong growth. Sales rose by 47 percent compared with the year-earlier period. It is also encouraging to see that we grew compared to the previous quarter, despite the third quarter historically being a weaker period. EBITDA amounted to €10.8m, corresponding to a margin of 37 per cent. The strong demand for tables and environments continues to drive investments, hence exerting some pressure on the margin.”

The largest investment in the quarter was the new Live Casino studio launched at the Grand Casino in Bucharest, Romania. Through this, Evolution’s seventh studio, the company became the first certified Live Casino supplier in Romania and together with its local partner iSoftBet, it aims to deliver a world-class service for operators looking to enter the market.

Mr. von Bahr added: “Regulated markets is one of our core areas, with the aim of further widening the lead over other suppliers and laying a solid foundation for continued growth. In this quarter we saw a big breakthrough for our land-based business through the launch of Dual Play Roulette for the world-famous casino operators The Ritz Club and The Hippodrome respectively in London. I am proud that two brands of such strength have chosen to go live with us. It clearly proves the trend of the land-based casino sector beginning to migrate online, even though we have only scratched the surface so far. It is also satisfying to see that this not only applies to the UK – in this quarter, we have also signed an agreement with Olympic Entertainment Group, a market-leading gaming supplier in the Baltics, with casinos in several European countries.”

Evolution is also continuing to roll out new products and recently launched Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em to a number of customers, and the roll-out continues during the autumn. Evolution owns the exclusive rights to offer a live version of this game globally via its partner, Scientific Games.

“The popularity of poker games is increasing fast, and to deliver a grand experience we have opened an environment created exclusively for our range of poker games, from where we are now streaming Caribbean Stud Poker, Casino Hold’em, Three Card Poker and the aforementioned Ultimate Texas Hold’em,” Mr. von Bahr explained. “As in the last quarter, demand for new dedicated tables and environments is very high; among the latest launches are Mr Green, Tempobet, Marathonbet and Royal Panda. Marathonbet is particularly distinctive, as they have a new Roulette table that has been customised to reflect the brand of one of Britain’s most prominent Premier League clubs.”

The inauguration of the table was a grand affair, with a visit from some of the club’s iconic players to Evolution’s studio in Riga.

Evolution has made several changes to its board and management in order to best meet the strong growth for the group and secure continued successful development.

Current Chairman of the board, Joel Citron, has decided to resign as Chairman but will remain as a member of the board. CEO and board member Jens von Bahr has been elected new Chairman by the board up until the next general meeting.

Martin Carlesund takes the role as CEO of the group and Johan Nordström is employed as CEO of the operational entity.
Mr. von Bahr commented: “Since the IPO, I and Martin have worked together to create an organisation and a team that can take Evolution to the next level. Having the right people is crucial – we now have a team in place which under the management of Martin can maximise the pace towards a position in the market that no one else can reach. As Executive Chairman, I will not work less, just have a different focus. I would like to thank our current Chairman Joel Citron for an excellent service as Chairman during the expansive period we have experienced. Joel will remain as a member of the board, focusing among other things on governance issues. Through the change in leadership, this will be the last CEO comment that I write and it feels good to note that with less than three months left of 2016, we will be able to sum up yet another record year for Evolution. We have experienced an exceptionally high level of demand for our services, which has put our delivery capability to the test. Time and again we have succeeded in supplying advanced and pioneering solutions, both in our own studios and to our customers.”

Joel Citron added: “As a result of our achievements, I have decided to resign as Chairman as I am convinced that the company needs an Executive Chairman to meet our future challenges. The board has therefore decided to appoint Jens as Chairman up until the next general meeting. The company requires an executive of Jens’ capabilities and industry expertise to focus full-time on strategy. Jens will engage with our management team, customers and shareholders in connection with formulating and executing the company’s future growth. Jens taking over as Chairman at this time also affords the opportunity to promote Martin to Group CEO. My role will be focused on guidance, general oversight and governance issues. I look forward to working with Jens, Martin and the board as we continue to build this outstanding company.”

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