Aspire Global has cited the success of its renewed focus on B2B operations, following the divestment of its B2C divisions towards the close of last year, whilst continuing to recommend NeoGames takeover bid to its shareholders.
As detailed in its Q4 and full-year trading report, the Nasdaq-listed gaming solutions provider highlighted a revenue increase of 14.7% during the final quarter to €50.9 million (2020: €44.4m) whilst EBITDA decreased by 7.5% to €7.5 million (2020: €6.2m), with a margin of 14.8% (2020: 18.6%).
This EBITDA decline was not reflected in full-year trading, however, with a growth rate of 29.2% recorded to €35.0 million (2020: €27.1m). Revenue for the entirety of 2021, meanwhile, stood at €213.3 million, a 31.8% rise on 2020 earnings of €161.9 million.
In particular, the group has attributed its revenue growth to a ‘record high B2B performance’, following the divestment of its B2C assets to Esports Technologies for $76 million (€68m) in December 2020, as part of the company’s commitment to focusing on B2B operations.
Geographically, Aspire’s rest of Europe full year income closed at €90.4 million (2020: €98.2m), an increase of 8%, ranking ahead of the rest of the world at €28 million (2020: €12.2m) and the Nordics €16.9 million (2020: €16.4m), with UK and Ireland revenue in particular growing by 122.2% to €90.4 million (2020: €98.2m).
During the final quarter, however, the rest of Europe was affected by regulations across certain jurisdictions, decreasing at a rate of 25.1% to €18.3 million (2020: €24.4m), although rest of world revenue was recorded at €7.5 million (2020: €5.1m), an increase of 46.7% due to expansion in the Americas and Africa.
Additionally, Nordic earnings rose 8.1% to €4 million (2020: €3.7m,), whilst development in the UK and Ireland contributed to a 89.2% rise to €21.1 million (2020: €11.1m).
Aspire was keen to highlight that when B2C operations were excluded from considerations, the firm’s revenue rose by 24% to €42.6 million (2020: €34.4 million) during the fourth quarter and 31.9% to €166.5 million (2020: €166.5m) for the full year.
Tsachi Maimon, Aspire CEO, said: “Aspire Global is today a focused B2B company with a leading offering in the igaming industry. We have over the past years made significant progress in building a strong position and adding tier 1-operators to our partner base, not at least after the value creating acquisitions of BtoBet and Pariplay.
“We are now looking forward to the next step in our journey and I am very excited by the opportunities the combination of Aspire Global and NeoGames offers.”Aspire’s re-focus on its B2B platforms during 2021 saw full year revenues for the BtoBet, Pariplay and AspireCore platforms rise by 44.2%, 60.1% and 8.9% to €8.3 million (2020: €5.8m), €3.5 million (2020: €2.2m) and €29.9 million (2020: €25.1m) respectively.
During the final quarter, these sub-segments recorded revenues of €8.3 million (2020: €5.8m, €3.4 million (2020: €2.2m) and €29.9 million (2020: €25.1m), representing growth rates of 44.2%, 60.1% and 18.9%.
BtoBet in particular benefited from the completion of the full migration of Aspire’s ‘major partner brands onto its platform, as well as entering into a Latin America-focused deal with Flutter Entertainment’s FanDuel, Polish operator BestBet24 and incorporating sports betting into its Danish offering, was Pariplay clinched a deal with Holand Casino in the Netherlands.
Additional agreements have seen Aspire further strengthen its standing in Germany and the Netherlands – lauding both as ‘very big igaming markets with a large growth potential’ – via deals with ITPS and BoyleSports respectively, supplying its turnkey solution to both firms.
Moving forward, Aspire Global has maintained its recommendation that its shareholders approve the prospective takeover of the company by NeoGames for SEK 4.3 billion (€410m), representing a bid of SEK 111 per share.
Should the shareholders accept the offer, NeoGames will acquire 50% of Aspire’s shareholding, with the remaining equity purchased through an issue of 7.6 million new shares distributed by its new parent company.
“Aspire Global’s entire operations will form a new igaming division within NeoGames,” Maimon continued. “The objective of the combination is to generate significant long-term value for both sets of shareholders, by creating synergies and capitalising on the key strengths of our two companies and positioning them both for expansion in new and existing markets.
“We believe that the irrevocable commitment by a significant portion of our shareholders to elect to receive the entirety of the equity component of the deal, subject to proration, suggests strong conviction in the future of the two companies.
“Not only is this a strategic fit, it is also a strong cultural fit, as significant parts of both management teams worked together extensively during NeoGames’ inception.”