Kambi ‘will not stand still’ after navigating 2021 trading hurdles
Kambi Group has asserted that it will maintain momentum on its international development and investment strategy in 2022, after overcoming hurdles in the Netherlands and with regards to some of its operator partners.
Publishing its full year trading results for 2021, the group revealed a 38% increase in revenue to €162.4 million, (2020: €117.7m), whilst profit before taxation stood at €56.1 million (2020: €31m).
Meanwhile, a 77% increase in operating profit and a 35% operating margin drove the firm’s net cash position to €72.3 million, bolstered by an expansion across six more US states.
The group’s experience in the expanding US market was not all positive, however, as CEO Kristian Nylén acknowledged that the loss of revenue from Kambi’s partnership with DraftKings was one of three “tough challenges” encountered by the Nasdaq-listed B2B sportsbook software supplier.
DraftKings had previously been leveraging Kambi’s B2B technology to power its online sportsbook operations, but the partnership between the two came to a close in September 2021, with the US betting firm moving onto its own proprietary platform.
A similar situation occurred with regards to 888 at the beginning of the year, which made the switch from Kambi’s offering to its own Spectate platform for the UK market in January, meaning Kambi lost two major sports betting partners throughout 2021.
Meanwhile, continuing to focus on Europe, Nylén observed that the regulation of the Dutch online gamlbing market in October created a further challenge for the firm, as some of the company’s operator partners were forced to cease operations and re-apply for licences – resulting in a Netherlands revenue dip for both Kambi and its partners.
“In business, obstacles will always present themselves, but I believe we have built a company with the scale and diversification to overcome challenges, as illustrated this past year,” the CEO continued.
“Our high-performance sportsbook continued to deliver for our growing network of global partners, enabling each one to provide a leading sportsbook experience to their players at a fraction of the cost of their B2C competitors.”
Despite some hurdles, activations of eight new operator partnerships means that now Kambi has a network of over 40 partners across six continents, whilst the firm also supported a total of 70 operator launches throughout 2021.
Looking ahead to the remainder of the current year, Nylen detailed that Kambi “cannot, and will not, stand still”, building on its 2021 commercial standing and its acquisition of esports content, products and services provider Abios.
Esports, according to the CEO, will remain a key focus for Kambi moving forward, citing that the market is projected to double in size by 2025 in Europe and the Americas, as well as in other regions.
The company also anticipates to take greater control of its operations over the coming year after gaining the ability to repay Kindred an agreed upon bond settlement, whilst Nylen and other executives have been pursuing an extensive share buyback strategy – the CEO himself holds 742,500 share options as of February 2022.
Nylén explained: “In summary, the business is in great shape and the global opportunities ahead are exciting. I’m proud of our achievements in 2021, driven by the hard work of our employees who care passionately about delivering for our partners.
“As ever, we remain committed to delivering the world’s leading sportsbook and services in a localised way, and having recently extended our relationship with long-term partner Kindred, while also gaining full control of our future with the ability to pay back the convertible bond, we’ve never been in a better position to do so.”