Bet-at-home H1 cost-cutting pushes earnings despite revenue decline

German-facing sports betting and igaming operator announced the business’ cost-cutting measures has tripled the company’s EBITDA, despite an overall decline in revenue.

Bet-at-home’s gross gambling revenue stood at €24.2m in H1 2023. This was a 9.3% fall from the €26.7m the business achieved in the same period the previous year.

The FL Entertainment-owned company said this resulted from regulatory developments in Germany. It represents the operator’s largest single source of revenue.

In particular, Bet-at-home highlighted the impact of the monthly betting limits Germany implemented from 1 July 2022.

These limits – which were implemented as part of the country’s Fourth State Treaty on Gambling – include a €1 per spin stake limit for online slots.

The operator also highlighted a weaker than expected development of the online gaming segment. This is a trend it also blamed on enhanced regulation from the previous year.

Impact of strict cost-cutting

However, during H1, EBITDA more than tripled during the period, rising to €3.8m from €1.1m achieved the previous year.

Bet-at-home said this resulted from a strict regime of cost-cutting implemented at the business.

Personnel expenses fell 39.3% year-on-year to €4.7m, due to two waves of restructuring implemented in 2022.

Marketing expenses also declined 5.6% to €5.5m. The business said the focus of the remaining spend will be on advertising ahead of the beginning of the 2023-24 football season.

Other operating expenses are down 13.9% year-on-year to €6.2m, compared to the €7.2m spent by the business in H1 2022.

Bet-at-home difficulties

Bet-at-home’s cost-cutting initiatives come in the wake of a difficult period for the company, with the business winding down its operations several key markets.

In October 2021, the business announced it would be exiting the Austrian market in the wake of a legal challenge to its operations.

This case saw a number of players seeking reimbursement for losses resulting from bets made with operators active in the country’s grey market.

Bet-at-home also opted to wind-down the Maltese business set up to target the Austrian market. The business owed €27.4m in liabilities, with €24.1m resulting from reimbursing players.

After the shutdown, the operator warned of an increased liquidity risk, with the business potentially unable to meet its financial obligations.

The company surrendered its GB licence following a Gambling Commission decision to suspend it following an investigation which found significant anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings.

Outlook for rest of year

Bet-at-home said it expects gross gambling revenue to be within the range of €50m to €60m for the rest of the year. It added this will be supported by a predicted stronger performance for online sports betting in H2 2023.

The company said it maintains its previously reported overall outlook for the year of an EBITDA between -€3m to €1m. This it said will be a result of the increased marketing costs in the second half of the year impacting margins.

Bet-at-home’s cash and cash equivalents stood at €37.8m as of 30 June, an increase from the €35.2m held by the business in H1 2022.

Original Article