Online casino solutions business Evolution has shared its report for the fourth quarter of 2022. During the period, operating revenues increased by 36% to EUR 407.5 million ($438.7 million). EBITDA increased by 35% to EUR 279.5 million ($300.9 million), corresponding to a margin of 68.6%; while profit amounted to EUR 223.5 million ($240.6 million).
“We wrapped up a strong financial year 2022 with a very good fourth quarter. This despite the challenging market environment reflected in the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, lower consumer confidence and remaining COVID-effects on supply chains – all of which are currently impacting the recovery of the post-pandemic world economy,” said CEO Martin Carlesund.
“We remain firmly anchored and we continue to deliver according to our plans with the everlasting ambition to always perform better,” he added. “Full-year EBITDA margin was 69.2%, this is at the lower end of our guidance of 69-71%. In the very challenging market conditions of 2022, a 69.2% margin reflects our competitive offering and strong execution during the past year.”
For the full year of 2022, operating revenues also increased by 36%, achieving EUR 1.5 billion ($1.6 billion). EBITDA increased by 37% to EUR 1 billion ($1 billion), corresponding to the aforementioned margin of 69.2%. Profit for the entire year amounted to EUR 843.4 million ($908.3 million).
As the company now moves into 2023, Evolution expects an EBITDA margin in the range of 68-71% for the full year. “Given the high level of uncertainty in the world we give a slightly wider range for our guidance compared to previous year,” pointed out Carlesund.
Evolution concluded the fourth quarter of the last year with top-line growth continuing to be driven by strong demand for Live Casino, which increased its revenue by 41.1% year-on-year. The company has seen games like Monopoly Big Baller driving demand “and increasing the entertainment factor for the end-user,” management noted.
RNG revenue increased by 5.1% compared to pro-forma figures for last year, although performance is still below company expectations. “The throughput of new games remains on the softer side and as we move forward, we need to improve efficiency as well as quality in our own production,” Carlesund stated. “The path to double-digit growth will not be linear – as we have communicated earlier – but we can do better and I really look forward to 2023.”
All in all, the fourth quarter was a solid end to the year, with the launch of many new titles including Live games such as Dead or Alive Saloon, Football Studio Dice and Freebet Blackjack; together with RNG games such as Cupcakes from NetEnt, Christmas Bonanza from BTG, Shadow Society from RedTiger and Dead Canary from Nolimit City. By the end of the period, the business was able to deliver on its 2022 target of 88 new game releases.
For 2023, Evolution plans to release over 100 games. Some portfolio highlights will be presented at ICE London this week. “Among the games showcased will be our biggest, most complex game show ever,” said the company’s CEO. “I am very excited about this release and hope that this fantastic game will get players’ full attention and also attract new players outside the current definition of Online Casino.”
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? https://t.co/FAzLrzDNhn — Please gamble responsibly. #ICE2023 #ICELondon2023 #evolution pic.twitter.com/KaUfru1oAZ
— Evolution (@Evo_global) February 6, 2023 In terms of regional development, all regions reported year-on-year growth in 2022, with Evolution showing what it calls “truly a global audience” for its offering. To continue that global expansion, the company continued to invest in studio expansion in Q4. During the quarter, the iGaming provider launched the second New Jersey Live Casino studio, described as “an important landmark” for its North American operations.
Last year’s studio investments increased significantly compared to 2021 and were fully in line with company plans. “We continue to power online casinos around the world, and we increased the number of live tables by over 300 during the year, to a total of over 1,300 live tables at the end of 2022,” added Carlesund. “For 2023 we will continue to invest in studio expansion, both in our existing locations and I also expect 1-2 new locations.”
Despite the unfavorable economic conditions, Evolution stated it remains “financially very strong,” with a solid balance sheet and strong cash flow. As the end result of a positive 2022, the board of directors proposed a dividend of EUR 2.00 per share for 2022, in line with the dividend policy to distribute dividend of 50% of net profit annually.
“As we move into 2023, our strategy and core values remain unchanged – for us at Evolution it is always about striving to be a little bit better, every day of the year, so that we can continue to widen the gap to competition and as I already stated, I very much look forward to an exciting 2023,” concluded the company’s CEO.