Regulatory announcement no. 8/2022
February 24, 2022
Interim report January 1 – December 31, 2021
Fourth Quarter 2021 Highlights
- Group revenue in the fourth quarter increased by 44% to EUR52.8m (Q4 2020: EUR36.7m). Organic revenue growth was 25%
- The continued large increase in NDCs sent on revenue-sharing contracts has significantly increased future recurring revenue (in the publishing business), but has also had a short-term dampening effect on revenue and profit. Combined with an exceptionally low sporting margin of victory, we estimated an effect of around EUR6m in the quarter compared to the historical average.
- Group EBITDA in the fourth quarter before exceptional items increased by 16% to EUR16.3m (Q4 2020: EUR14.1m). The Group’s EBITDA margin before exceptional items was 31% (publishing 40% and paid media 5%).
- Operating cash flow before exceptionals amounted to EUR13.5m (Q4 2020: EUR10.1m), an increase of 33%. Cash conversion was 82%. At the end of the fourth quarter, the capital reserves amounted to 33.5 mEUR including 30.1 mEUR in cash and 3.4 mEUR in unused bank credit facilities.
- New Depositing Customers (NDC) were >267,000 in the quarter (74% growth). NDCs sent on revenue share contracts were >190,000 (69% growth).
- On November 4, Better Collective finalized the acquisition of the remaining 40% of shares in the American network RotoGrinders for a total price of 33 mEUR.
- On December 8, Better Collective launched a share buyback program to cover future payments related to completed acquisitions and incentive programs up to EUR10m.
2021 Financial Highlights
- Revenue increased by 94% to EUR177.1m (financial year 2020: EUR91.2m), with organic growth of 29%.
- EBITDA before exceptional items increased by 46% to EUR55.8m (financial year 2020: EUR38.2m). The EBITDA margin before exceptional items was 32% (publishing 43% and paid media 8%).
- Special items represented a cost of EUR16.7m (financial year 2020: EUR0.1m). It includes an adjustment of EUR 11.5m to the contingent liability related to the acquisition of Rical LLC in 2019, treated as an item of the income statement under IFRS, as well as income related to an adjustment of the variable payment recorded in the in connection with the acquisition of Rical LLC. Dutch assets. M&A cost of EUR6.0m relates to M&A activities, primarily Action Network, and management incentive program cost of EUR2.5m related to Action Network.
- Operating cash flow before exceptionals amounted to EUR51.2m (FY2020: EUR38.3m), an increase of 34%. The cash conversion rate before exceptional items was 92%.
- On May 26, 2021, Better Collective resolved a directed equity issue of 6.9 million shares, generating gross proceeds of SEK 1,500 million and significantly increasing financial flexibility.
- New depositing clients were >857,000 in 2021 (96% growth). NDCs sent on revenue share contracts were >607,000 (70% growth).
In 2021, Better Collective made acquisitions of approximately EUR210m:
- On January 1, 2021, Better Collective increased its stake to 90% of the shares of Mindway AI, which specializes in software solutions based on artificial intelligence and neuroscience to identify, prevent and intervene in risky and problem gambling.
- On March 31, 2021, Better Collective strengthened its position in the Swedish sports betting market by acquiring the online sports betting media platform, Rekatochklart. com for 3.8 million euros.
- On May 28, Better Collective acquired the leading US sports betting media platform, Action Network, for EUR196m (USD240m), gaining market leadership in US sports betting media.
- On September 24, Better Collective acquired Soccernews.nl, a Dutch online sports betting community, in separate transactions for total upfront payments of €5.9 million.
Significant events at the end of the period
- January revenue reached >EUR26m, more than double compared to 2020, including 69% organic growth. Profits (EBITDA before exceptionals) were >11 mEUR. Performance was boosted by the opening of the market in New York State.
- On January 21, 2022, Better Collective entered into a media partnership with the New York Post to bring the best in commercial sports betting content to the publication’s readership of over 92 million unique users. The agreement covers the delivery of content, data and statistics for the betting section of the New York Post. New York State opened for online sports betting on January 8, 2022. Better Collective is off to a great start across all assets, especially Action Network.
- On January 11, 2022, the EUR10m share buyback program initiated on December 8, 2021 was completed with 532,482 shares accumulated under the program.
- The Board of Directors has implemented a new Long Term Incentive Plan (LTI) for key employees of the Better Collective group (excluding executive management). Awards under the new LTI will take the form of performance share units and stock options that will vest over a 3-year period. The total value of the LTI 2022 grant program is 1.4 mEUR (Black-Scholes value) measured at the target level.
Jesper Søgaard, co-founder and CEO of Better Collective, commented:
“A record number of NDCs and a strong overall performance of our business marks the end of 2021 – a year of many new opportunities for Better Collective. We managed to generate growth of 44% compared to the fourth quarter of the last year. Our business in the United States recorded excellent results after the start of the NFL season and contributed almost 40% to the Group’s total quarterly revenue.”
2021 financial objectives
The Group’s financial objectives for 2021 in terms of organic growth (29% against a target of > 25%) and operating result/EBITDA (55.8 mEUR against a target of > 55 mEUR) have been achieved. Total revenue ended at EUR177m, slightly below the target of >EUR180m. Total revenue and profit were, as mentioned, negatively impacted by an exceptionally low sports win margin in the fourth quarter as well as high NDC input, which is having a short-term dampening effect on margins.
2022 financial objectives
The Board of Directors has decided on new financial objectives for the Better Collective Group for the financial year 2022. Excluding potential new M&A transactions:
- Double-digit organic revenue growth of 15-25%
- Operating profit (EBITDA before exceptionals) of c. 75 million euros
- Leverage (interest-bearing net debt/EBITDA)
- A high operational cash conversion rate should be maintained
A conference call will be held today at 10:00 CET by CEO Jesper Søgaard and CFO Flemming Pedersen. The presentation will be simultaneously webcast, and the conference call and webcast provide an opportunity to ask questions.
Call details for participants
Confirmation Code: 8383938
Denmark: +45 32 72 04 17
Sweden: +46 (0)8 56618467
Webcast link https://edge.media-server.com/mmc/p/q8n77272
Inquiries regarding this announcement should be directed to
Investor contact: Christina Bastius Thomsen, +45 2363 8844 firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contact: Ulrik Marschall, +45 6068 6370 email@example.com
This information is what Better Collective A/S is required to make public under the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the contact person indicated above, on February 24, 2022 at 8:00 a.m. CET.
About Better Collective
Better Collective is a global sports betting media group that provides platforms that enhance and enhance the betting experience for sports fans and iGamers. Aiming to make betting and gambling more entertaining, transparent and fair, Better Collective offers a range of editorial content, bookmaker information, data insights, betting tips, iGaming communities and tools educational. Its platform portfolio includes bettingexpert.com, VegasInsider.com, HLTV.org and Action Network. Better Collective is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, and listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (BETCO). More information on bettercollective.com.
BC Regulatory Bulletin no. 8_2022 Quarter 4 and 2022 Annual Report .February.24