Kindred Group has reported its year-end financials, with CEO Henrik Tjärnström declaring 2021 “a strong year despite a slightly more challenging fourth quarter”.
The group also noted that North America remains its most important growth market despite the tough competition in the region and that it is expanding according to plan.
Publishing its 2021 results, Kindred registered full-year corporate revenues of $1.71bn, up 11% on corresponding FY2020 results of $1.53bn.
2021 headline performance was maintained despite significant events impacting the group’s year-end trading such as it ceasing all Dutch online gambling services while waiting to be granted a KOA Regime license.
Accounting for Dutch restrictions and tough trading comparatives, Kindred recorded declines on all Q4 metrics as period revenues fell to $331.23m (Q42020: $494.13m).
As a result of its revenue slump and a ‘below average sports betting margin’, further Q4 headline results saw the group’s underlying EBITDA decline by 77% to $37.47m (Q42020: $160.19m).
CEO Henrik Tjärnström commented: “Exceptionally strong numbers in 2020 led to tough comparatives for the quarter but despite the low sports betting margin at the beginning of the quarter, and the fact that we ceased services to Dutch residents, our fourth quarter delivered solid revenues of £244.9m, underlying EBITDA of £27.6m”
“The final quarter of the year was impacted by normalization of the sporting calendar following an exceptional comparative quarter in 2020 and increased competition following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions – factors anticipated in our Q3 report.”
Anticipated Q4 impacts did not derail Kindred’s full-year financial results, as its underlying EBITDA improved by 15% to $450.69m (FY2020: $390.96m).
Despite the Dutch opt-out significantly impacting the results of its Western European unit performance (-48% in Q4 revenues) – Kindred’s active customer base in the UK (+8%) and Belgium (+9%) continues to grow.
Elsewhere, the group held its comparative performance within Scandinavian markets, achieving growth for its online casino vertical, despite Swedish depositing limits being applied as a temporary COVID-19 restriction.
Closing its unaudited results, Kindred expects to deliver profits after tax of $400.46m, up 78% on last year’s $223.99m.
Looking at North America, Kindred stated in its report that the region is still its most important growth market despite the tough competition and that it is expanding according to plan.
The group expects a direct market access license in Ontario in Q2 2022, which will also allow it to use its strong Unibet brand. It also expects to launch its proprietary platform in New Jersey in Q3 2022 following the certification process that starts in Q1. Once it has launched in the Garden State, other states will follow.
Moving forward, the company underlined that it would be strengthened by completing its acquisition of Relax Gaming, helping build out and diversify its B2B services.
The firm also remains confident that it will be granted a Dutch KOA license by the first half of 2022 trading – a factor that will help it achieve its highest percentage of revenues generated from regulated markets.
Tjärnström added: “We have now truly shifted gear on our transformation into a locally regulated operator with clear ambitions for the future.
“With the North American business in its infancy, our more mature markets in Europe and Australia have performed well during the fourth quarter. Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and the UK have all delivered encouraging performance over the year.
“If we exclude the US, our markets in Europe and Australia grew revenue for the full year by 12% compared to 2020 and delivered growth in underlying EBITDA of 19%. This indicates the strength in our core market performance.”