A buy-back program initiated at Kindred Group in July this year with the purpose to return excess cash to shareholders is now complete, announced today the gaming operator.
Share Buy-Back Program Complete
Kindred Group said it repurchased a total of 942,000 shares/SDRs in the period December 1-17, 2021 within the buy-back program the Board of Directors had initiated in the second half of July.
Carried out in accordance with the Maltese Companies Act, EU Market Abuse Regulation and Nasdaq’s Nordic Main Market Rulebook for Issuers of Shares, the program is now complete, the gambling group confirmed in the press release.
Nordea Bank Abp acted on behalf of Kindred Group in relation to all share acquisitions and as of December 17, 2021, the group is holding 7,486,839 own shares/SDRs out of a total of 230,126,200 issued shares.
Since the stock re-purchasing program commenced, Kindred Group acquired a total of 4,652,000 shares/SDRs, achieving a volume-weighted average price of SEK129 ($14.2) per share. The buy-back program allowed the company to spend a maximum of SEK 600 million ($66 million) and re-purchase a maximum of 6,000,000 of its shares/SDRs.
Kindred’s Board decided to commence the share buy-back program in anticipation of the company’s strong financial performance in the second quarter in which gross winnings revenue increased by 55% and underlying EBITDA jumped by 221% year-over-year despite the impact of a one-off cost of £3.7 million ($5.1 million) related to the acquisition of Relax Gaming.
Regulatory Headwinds and Weak Betting Margins
Kindred’s performance slowed down in the third quarter which registered only a 6% increase in gross winnings revenue and a 13% increase in underlying EBITDA but the repurchase of shares/SDRs in the quarter went up nearly 8x, 2,250,000 shares/SDRs, as compared to just 284,500 in the second quarter.
As part of the third-quarter financial report, Kindred included an overview of the first 24 days of the fourth quarter, in which the gambling group’s average daily gross winnings revenue, impacted by the closure of services to players in the Netherlands and a streak of exceptionally weak sports betting margins, was trading 61% below the corresponding reading for the same period in 2020.
The business was significantly slowing down across the boards, with daily average gross sports betting turnover down 21%, daily average gross winnings from casino down 24%, while the number of active customers for that period decreased by 13% as compared to the same period last year.