Playtech lauds global proficiency as board weighs up future outcomes

Playtech Plc has delivered 2021 results above its expected guidance, as the FTSE250 technology group continues to consider its long-term strategic options. 

Updating stakeholders in its full year results for 2021, Playtech reported a 12% increase in revenue from €1,078.5 million to €1,205.4 million – driven by growth of its B2B and B2C units. 

Revenue growth was coupled with a 25% growth rate in adjusted EBITDA to €317.1 million (2020: €253.6m). A unit breakdown saw B2B revenue rise by 11% to €554.3 million (€494.8m) and B2C revenue of €663.7 million (€596.3m), an increase of 10%. 

For the B2B segment, the Americas represented the key growth market for the company at a rate of 64% to reach revenue of €101.3 million (€60.6 million), with the firm detailing  “material gains” of €583.2 in Latin America via the derivative financial assets from options relating to brands such as Caliente and Wplay.

The company reported “excellent growth” for both subsidiaries in Mexico and Colombia respectively, whilst wider Latin American success saw strategic agreements in Brazil, Costa Rica and Panama.

Outside of Latin America, growth has been reported for Live Casino products across four new facilities in the US and Europe – a strategic deal with Holland Casino was cited as key to this – as well as multiple launches in the US and a partnership with Canada’s NorthStar. 

Mor Weizer, Playtech CEO, said: “Our full year results demonstrate the quality of Playtech’s technology and the momentum across the group. Our strong performance is underpinned by our B2B business, in particular the tremendous growth we have seen in the Americas. 

“We have made real progress in the execution of our US strategy, supported by new licences, new launches and new partnerships, and we continue to go from strength to strength in Latin America, buoyed by new strategic agreements across the region.”

For B2C, meanwhile, total revenue of €663.7 million (€596.3m) was recorded, with adjusted EBITDA of €177.9 million (€127.7m), with the Italian market-facing Sanitech subsidiary recording EBITDA of €182.6 million – a 38% increase on 2020 EBITDA of €132.0 million.

Snaitech’s online business was pointed to as a key area of success, having generated revenue of €229.9 million, a 45% increase on 2020, and Adjusted EBITDA of €135.3, a 54% growth rate.

A number of sales were also conducted throughout the year as Playtech looked to streamline its operations and divest certain holdings. Snaitech sold surplus land for €20 million, whilst the Casual, Social Gaming and Finalto fintech units were also sold. 

The sale of the latter, however, is related to one of Playtech’s operational hurdles for 2020, as it was a key requirement in Aristocrat Leisure’s proposed buyout of the LSE-listed firm – something which its board members continually recommended to shareholders. 

Playtech required at least 75% shareholder approval in order for Aristocrat to progress with its takeover, with the vote having been delayed twice due to a rival bid emerging from Eddie Jordan’s investment vehicle JKO Play

“In B2C, the story is similar, with Snaitech continuing to outperform the market, achieving the position of the number one brand across sports betting and retail in Italy,” Weizer continued.

“Over the year Playtech has also refocused the business, with the sale of Casual and Social Gaming in January and the disposal of Finalto due to complete later this year. The appointment of Brian Mattingley as Chairman significantly strengthens our corporate governance, and our Sustainable Success strategy places ESG at the core of our business.”

Moving forward, the company has pointed to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a potential challenge in 2022, which Playtech states has cast uncertainty on the global macroeconomic outlook, coupled with the world economy’s emergence from COVID-19.

Playtech anticipates continued growth for both its B2B and B2C online businesses, whilst a “possible transaction in relation to Caliente in the US” is on the table, along with continued negotiations with the TTB investment group concerning its takeover offer

Weizer concluded: “Clearly, it has been an eventful year for Playtech, and I want to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues for their hard work and commitment.

“In particular, I must reserve a special mention for our Ukrainian colleagues, and all our other employees who volunteer their personal time to provide extra support for the team in this extremely difficult time. It makes me very proud to be at the helm of this company.”

“The macroeconomic picture is of course uncertain, but we have started 2022 strongly, and with our businesses continuing to perform we are confident in our ability to continue to deliver against our strategy.”

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