Sazka Group’s businesses maintain a positive performance in 3Q2020 after lockdown restrictions were lifted. Markets and channels return swiftly to business activity, which shows the company’s capacity to adapt to the new normality and the strong demand for its products.
Casinos Austria Deal with Positive Impact on 3Q2020 Figures
Pan-European lottery and sports betting giant Sazka Group saw its revenue rise significantly in 3Q2020 as a result of the acquisition of Casinos Austria previously held by Novomatic Group, the company’s financial results show. Sazka Group increased its ownership in the Austrian gaming corporation to 55.48% in June this year.
Sazka Group’s consolidated gross gaming revenues (GGR) surged by 66% to €769 million in the three-month period ending September 30 compared to the same period last year. The report highlighted that GGR would have grown by 1% from €463 million in Q3 2019 to €465 million in Q32020 without Casinos Austria’s contribution.
In July, Casinos Austria announced a restructuring plan aimed at saving €45 million of annual costs by FY22. The plan is underway and includes cutting inventory and personnel costs, optimizing operations and removing redundancies, among others.
Covid-19 restrictions, which impacted some of the company’s land-based businesses in Greece, Italy, Austria and internationally in H1, were eased at the end of Q2 and allowed the growth of these markets in Q3. Land-based businesses in the Czech Republic and Austria, which were not materially hit by Covid limitations in the first half of the year, have maintained their good performance.
“The swift return to normalised trading in the markets and channels that were more affected by restrictions in H1 demonstrates the resilient underlying demand for our products as well as the agility of our teams across the regions.”Robert Chvatal, CEO, Sazka Group
The sales in physical venues were led by online sales, which sustained structurally higher levels, the report also says. Consolidated Operating EBITDA reported a 37% year-over-year increase to €197 million in 3Q. Operating EBITDA increased by 6% without taking into account Casinos Austria’s contribution.
Current Situation Across Markets and Future Plans
Meanwhile, Sazka Group announced it had secured a key strategic objective that will see giant Apollo Global Management invest €500 million in a newly created holding company, which will become the owner of the Czech-based lottery group at a valuation of €4.2 billion.
Despite the overall stability, new restrictions were implemented in late October – early November across all markets. Land-based operations in Greece and Cyprus as well as Casinos Austria’s casino businesses have been hit the most. Moreover, casinos and gaming halls in Austria, as well as most international casinos are shut down. The impact on land-based businesses in Czech Republic, Austria and Italy is limited as venues remain open.