ZEAL Network SE: Strong results and an exciting future

Mar 21, 2019 8:30 AM

DGAP-News: ZEAL Network SE / Key word(s): Annual Results

21.03.2019 / 07:30
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London, 21 March 2019


ZEAL Network SE: Strong results and an exciting future

  • Billings up nearly 6% to EUR 296.3 million
  • Adjusted EBIT up 85% to EUR 46.6 million; Statutory EBIT up 52% to EUR 38.3 million
  • Revenue up 15% to EUR 154.8 million
  • Record number of new registered customers acquired for the Group and partners
  • First foreign lottery operator to be awarded a licence in the Czech Republic
  • Acquisition of Lotto24 AG on track

ZEAL Network SE ("ZEAL") today announced strong financial results and record new customer acquisition for 2018, as it moved closer towards completion of its acquisition of Lotto24 AG ("Lotto24").

The Group delivered an 85% increase in Adjusted EBIT to EUR 46.6 million, generating Statutory EBIT of EUR 38.3 million (2017: EUR 25.2 million). The adjustment accounts for one-off costs primarily associated with the Lotto24 transaction and restructuring. Billings and revenue grew for the third consecutive year. Billings were up 6% to EUR 296.3 million (2017: EUR 280.5 million) while revenue increased 15% to EUR 154.8 million (2017: EUR 134.3 million). Total Operating Performance (TOP) was EUR 159.7 million, an increase of 13% year-on-year (2017: EUR 141.2 million).

ZEAL also acquired a record number of new customers for the Group and its partners, while significantly reducing its acquisition costs. The 614,000 new registered customers represent a 49% increase on the previous year (2017: 411,000), while the cost per lead in the lottery betting business reduced by 42% in 2018.

Jonas Mattsson, CFO, ZEAL, said: "ZEAL delivered a very strong performance in 2018. We reduced our financial risk, improved our cost structure and increased the efficiency of our marketing - delivering a record number of new customers and excellent financial results. We achieved this while also preparing to adapt for the future as we initiated our plan to reunite with Lotto24 - a strategic move that protects our core business, reduces shareholder risk, and creates strong platform for growth. This, combined with our excellent financial performance makes ZEAL a highly attractive long-term investment proposition."

Building on the progress made in 2017, ZEAL continued to lay the groundwork for its international diversification. During the year, it became the first foreign lottery operator to be awarded a licence in the Czech Republic and acquired its third and fourth stakes in external lottery-related start-ups, Wshful (Cloud Canyon Limited) and The Dream Makers (De Integro Limited).

In November 2018, ZEAL announced its intention to reunite with Germany's largest digital lottery broker, Lotto24, and transform its core German business model to locally-licensed digital lottery brokerage. ZEAL shareholders approved the all-share transaction in January 2019 and, to date, nearly 74% of Lotto24 shareholders have accepted ZEAL's offer. Completion is anticipated in May 2019.

Dr. Helmut Becker, CEO, ZEAL, said: "2018 was a pivotal year for ZEAL. We delivered excellent financial results, continued to lay the groundwork for international diversification, and made ourselves more efficient. Through our plan to acquire and reunite with Lotto24 we created a sustainable growth path for our core German business. Online penetration in the global lottery market remains low and the opportunity is as exciting as ever. I believe we have positioned ZEAL exceptionally well for the future and the sector's digital shift."

Selected financial results to 31 December 2018:

  2018 2017
Billings EUR 296.3 million EUR 280.5 million
Statutory Revenue EUR 154.8 million EUR 134.3 million
TOP EUR 159.7 million EUR 141.2 million
Adjusted EBIT
Exceptional items
Statutory EBIT
EUR   46.6 million
EUR     8.3 million
EUR   38.3 million
EUR   25.2 million
EUR -
EUR   25.2 million
Net Profit EUR   26.7 million EUR   17.2 million
EPS

Normalised Adjusted EBIT*
EUR   3.18

EUR   49.4 million
EUR    2.04

EUR   38.1 million

* The difference between the actual pay-out and the expected prize pay-out is referred to as 'normalisation'

2019 Outlook:

In view of the special situation created by the Lotto24 transaction, which is moving closer to completion, and the transformation of its core German business model later in 2019, ZEAL does not intend to provide any financial guidance at this point in time. ZEAL's dividend policy for 2019 is currently under review.

- ENDS -

Media contact:
Matt Drage
Head of Corporate Communications, ZEAL Network
T: +44 (0)7976 872 861
matt.drage@zeal-network.co.uk

Investor Relations contact:
Frank Hoffmann
Investor Relations Manager, ZEAL Network
T: +44 (0)20 3739 7123
frank.hoffmann@zeal-network.co.uk

Notes to Editor:
  1. ZEAL is an international digital lottery group.
  2. The company was founded in 1999. Renamed as ZEAL Network SE in 2014.
  3. The company is headquartered in London and its shares are listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
  4. The Group has more than 3.9 million customers globally. Since its incorporation, ZEAL Group has generated stakes of more than EUR3 billion and paid out more than EUR1.5 billion in winnings.
  5. ZEAL Group includes all subsidiaries of ZEAL Network SE and the affiliated companies of the independent shareholding myLotto24 Ltd.
  6. Total Operating Performance is calculated as the sum of Revenue and Other Operating Income as disclosed in the Consolidated Income Statement.
  7. ZEAL's 2018 Annual Results are available at: http://www.zeal-network.co.uk/investors/publications/


21.03.2019 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.

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