Fortuna Entertainment has reported “strong growth” in the opening nine months of the year, despite being hit by an increase in betting tax in the Czech Republic.
Gross win during the first three quarters of the year amounted to €120.2 million ($133 million), which represents a year-on-year rise of 14.4% compared to the corresponding period last year.
Sports betting gross win climbed by 15% to €113.8 million in the period, €75 million of which was from online betting, 25% more than last year.
Gross win from retail betting dropped 0.4% to €38.8 million, although the firm’s lottery business saw gross win increase by 5.1% to €6.4 million.
The total amount staked by customers in the period to September 30 totalled €756 million, 22.9% more than last year, primarily driven by double-digit growth in online betting in all countries where Fortuna operates.
However, Fortuna reported that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 9.9% year-on-year to €15.9 million, mainly due to higher taxes in the Czech Republic, the abolishment of the online handling fee in Slovakia at the end of February 2015 and the anticipated increase in operating costs of the group to boost capability and capacity for future growth.
Per Widerström, chief executive of Fortuna, said: “In the first nine months of 2016, the company continued to deliver strong growth in amounts staked and we accepted total bets in the amount of €756.0 million, which is 22.9% more than last year.
“The amounts staked grew double digits in all our key markets, primarily driven by the online betting growth and in particular mobile sports betting, while retail grew single digit.
“Our operating profitability measured by EBITDA was impacted by the increase in the betting tax rate in the Czech Republic and by the planned increase of operating costs to support the future growth opportunities of the company.”