Kindred Group said strong growth in customers and a higher than normal sports betting margin helped the Unibet operator post record revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020.
Gross winnings revenue for the three months to 31 December grew 55% year-on-year to approximately £365m, the strongest quarterly performance in the business’ history.
This was driven by strong growth in customer numbers, with actives for the quarter up 11% compared to the prior year to 1.8m, and a sports betting margin of 10%, above the long-term average of approximately 8.5%.
Marketing investment for the quarter rose 13% above Q4 2019 levels. Kindred noted that it had ramped up activity in H2, after reducing spend in the first half of the year, as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic significantly reduced the sporting schedule.
Despite this increase, marketing spend fell from 23% to 21% of revenue, thanks to the record quarterly total, with overall spend for the year expected to fall below 2019 levels.
While Kindred did not provide a full breakdown of earnings for the year, it noted that underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation is expected of come in significantly ahead of the prior year.
Underlying EBITDA for Q4 is estimated to be £115m, significantly above Q4 2019’s £30.7m, as a result of the strong revenue growth, coupled with an ongoing focus on operational efficiency and costs.
The trading update has been published ahead of the operator’s year-end report for 2020, which is to be published on 10 February.
For the third quarter of the year, Kindred reported a 24.2% rise in revenue to £280.7m, with chief executive Henrik Tjärnström crediting a diversified business model for helping the operator avoid a revenue hit from Covid-19.