Newly formed media and betting business FL Entertainment, the parent company of Betclic Everest, has reported a 3.0% decline in online gambling revenue, despite overall revenue for the group growing by 18.6%.
The results mark the first set of figures published since FL Entertainment went public in July this year. FL Entertainment is the new name for the combined business created via a merger with special-purpose acquisition company Pegasus Entrepreneurial Acquisition Company Europe.
The merger agreement covered all Betclic Everest subsidiaries, including Bet-at-home, and also featured television production business Banijay, which first merged with Betclic to create FL Entertainment before being combined with Pegasus.
Now operating as a single business as of early July, FL Entertainment has set its sights on growth across a range of sectors, including content production and distribution, which was the main driver of growth in H1.
“FL Entertainment’s listing in July 2022 is the start of a new chapter for our business and we are delighted to begin life as a publicly-traded company with such strong momentum,” FL Entertainment chief executive François Riahi said.
“We enjoy leading positions in attractive and growing segments of the entertainment industry and are well-placed to capitalise on new opportunities and continue our track record of delivering profitable growth.”
Revenue for the six months to 30 June, the half leading up to the completion of the merger, amounted to €1.80bn (£1.58bn/$1.77bn), up from €1.51bn in the corresponding period in 2021.
Of this total, €1.40bn was attributed to content production and distribution, up 27.0% on last year as FL Entertainment said this area of the business experienced strong Covid-19 recovery. Content production revenue was 25.7% higher at €1.17bn, while distribution revenue also jumped 44.4% to €159.6m.
However, revenue from online gambling operations slipped 3.0% year-on-year to €396.6m. Sportsbook revenue fell 3.5% to €322.3m and casino revenue 7.0% to €46.5m, though poker revenue climbed 7.1% to €23.2m and other revenue increased 44.9% to €4.6m.
Turning to costs, external expenses were 20.8% higher at €861.3m, while personnel costs also increased by 17.3% to €628.6m. This resulted in €300.7m in adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), up 16.0% year-on-year.
FL Entertainment noted €76.6m in further costs related to its long-term incentive plan and €59.0m in depreciation and amortisation, while financial expenses increased by 107.8% to €159.2m.
This level of spending meant pre-tax profit was 71.1% lower at €9.7m, while after including €27.8m in tax expenses, this left a net loss of €18.2m, compared to €24.2m in the previous year.
However, FL Entertainment also noted €76.6m in income from its long-term incentive plan and employment-related earn-out option, as well as €85.6m in other financial income. As a result, adjusted net income was 7.9% higher year-on-year at €138.7m.
“During H1 2022, FL Entertainment delivered double-digit revenue and EBITDA growth thanks to a strong post-Covid recovery in content production and increased distribution revenues,” Riahi said.
“Our Sports betting & online gaming business performed well and continued to attract new players, despite the quieter sports calendar in the first-half.
“Based on the strength of our H1 performance, we are confirming our revenue and earnings targets for 2022, as well as our mid-term outlook.”
These targets include €3.0bn in content production and distribution revenue, plus €450.0m in adjusted EBITDA, while sports betting and online gaming revenue is estimated at €800.0m, with €200.0m in adjusted EBITDA.