ZEAL Network SE: ZEAL achieved strong earnings growth in the first nine months driven by a robust underlying performance

Nov 13, 2015 7:15 AM

DGAP-News: ZEAL Network SE / Key word(s): 9-month figures

2015-11-13 / 07:15

Press release

ZEAL achieved strong earnings growth in the first nine months driven by a robust underlying performance

- Total operating performance: Hedging income and high jackpot months offset majority of impact from high prize pay-outs

- EBIT up 85.8% to EUR 20.7 million

- Growth of earnings per share to EUR 0.97 per share

- Dividend pay-out expected to be at least EUR 2.80 for 2016

- ZEAL reiterates its guidance from 2 September 2015

(London, 13 November 2015) ZEAL Group performed solidly in the first nine months of 2015 and the growth strategy is progressing in line with plan. Throughout the period the Group has expanded its product portfolio in the Business-to-Consumer segment and continues to make headway towards its strategic goals in the Business-to-Business/Business-to Government segment.

Dr. Helmut Becker, Chief Executive Officer: "ZEAL has achieved a robust profit increase in the first nine months of 2015, despite exceptionally high prize pay-outs. We are also gaining traction with new gaming product initiatives launched earlier this year that are driving an increased revenue per customer."

During the period, the Group's underlying business performance remained strong. ZEAL delivered EBIT growth of 85.8% resulting from a reduction in operating expenses, income from hedging instruments and the benefit of exceptionally high jackpots that drove higher than average player involvement in July and September. This in turn mitigated the adverse EBIT impact of exceptionally high prize pay-outs in May and September. Correspondingly consolidated net profit for the period rose significantly to EUR 8.2 million from EUR 1.1 million in the previous year and EPS rose from EUR 0.12 in 2014 to EUR 0.97 in the current period.

As a result of the high prize pay-outs, consolidated revenue decreased to EUR 51.9 million (prior year: EUR 105.4 million) in the first nine months, whilst total operating performance was down by EUR 17.0 million to EUR 91.9 million. The Group uses total operating performance as a measure for top-line guidance in order to include income from hedging instruments. In the period total operating performance benefitted from hedging instruments income of EUR 38.3 million.

In line with its dividend policy, ZEAL paid out its third interim dividend of EUR 0.70 per share at the end of September. ZEAL anticipates the final quarterly dividend payment of EUR 0.70 in December 2015 completing total dividends of EUR 2.80 per share in the current year. The Group intends to continue quarterly payments of at least that amount in 2016 and future years.

Outlook for 2015
ZEAL reiterates its guidance from 2 September 2015. Assuming ordinary course of business in the last quarter, ZEAL expects total operating performance in the range of EUR 120-130 million and full year EBIT in the range of EUR 20-30 million.

The strategic outlook of the Group remains unchanged with attractive growth opportunities in the company's target markets. The Group remains well positioned to capitalise on opportunities arising from changes to regulatory conditions and relatively low internet penetration of the lottery industry.

Selected Financials:

    Q1-3 2015 Q1-3 2014
Revenue EUR '000 51,869 105,414
Total operating performance EUR '000 91,891 108,847
EBIT EUR '000 20,686 11,134
Net profit EUR '000 8,161 1,115
Earnings/share EUR 0.97 0.12

Press contact:
ZEAL Network SE
Press office
Tel.: +44 (0)20 3739-7000
E-Mail: media@zeal-network.co.uk
Internet: www.zeal-network.co.uk

About ZEAL Network SE:
ZEAL is a holding company specialized in the area of online lottery. We offer consumer facing lottery-based games as well as business to business solutions. Our vision is to create a better world of lottery.

ZEAL Network SE is a London based company, founded in Germany in 1999 as Tipp24 SE. In November 2014, the company was renamed to ZEAL Network SE. Its shares are listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and are included in the SDAX index. To the current day ZEAL has generated stakes of 2.5 billion euros and thus contributed over 650 million euros in taxes and duties.

ZEAL holds equity interests in businesses running under the following brands: Lottovate offers digital services to licenced lottery operators around the world (www.lottovate.com). Lotto Network enables private business partners to host their own branded lotto product (www.lottonetwork.com). Geolotto is an innovative geographical based lotto game in the UK (www.geolotto.co.uk). Ventura24 is a lottery ticket broker in Spain (www.ventura24.es). Tipp24 offers consumer facing secondary lottery products (www.tipp24.com).

2015-11-13 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Media archive at www.dgap-medientreff.de and www.dgap.de

412719  2015-11-13  show this