After enjoying incredible growth over the past financial year, the LeoVegas Group has taken another mighty leap forward with its listing on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange being formally approved and ratified. The ‘promotion’ from the Swedish First North Premier stock market took place on Monday February 5, and as is commonplace in these situations it’s likely that the firm’s value will skyrocket in the next few weeks and months as its shares become more readily available to big-money investors overseas.
The listing will pump plenty of revenue into the firm’s holdings, and with the current industry trend for mergers and acquisitions seemingly here to stay it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Swedish firm pick up a few new partners in 2018 and beyond – as it did when acquiring the branding and intellectual property of Royal Panda towards the tail end of last year. Gustaf Hagman, LeoVegas’ Group CEO, was in celebratory mood as his company’s listing was set live:
“This change in listing can be credited to a strong team effort by everyone at LeoVegas, and I want to take this opportunity to express extra praise to my team for the hard work they’ve done to bring this across the finish line. The change in listing strengthens the Group and gives us an even better quality seal in our communication and cooperation with authorities, licensors and partners. For institutional investors – both in Sweden but even more so abroad – we will become more accessible and attractive as a company. Today is a big day for LeoVegas and yet another step in our ongoing journey of growth.”
It’s fair to say that 2017 was a good year for the LeoVegas. A strong showing in the second quarter delivered a 60% increase on profits for the same period in 2016 – a handsome €49.7m for the three months up to the end of June. Central to that growth was the number of ‘returning depositors’, a number which increased by 49% from 66,917 in the second quarter of 2016 to 100,020 when reporting 12 months later.
That, for many pundits, is the sign of a high-quality casino operation: players’ loyalty rewarded with a raft of lucrative bonuses and promotions, and a high retention rate achieved with a fantastic range of slots games sourced from the industry’s best software houses. Hagman was quoted as saying that:
“LeoVegas has a strong cash position of approximately €60m and no debt in the company. This means that we have resources to carry out acquisitions and investments going forward, and that we see favourable opportunities in the market.”
That ‘aggressive’ attitude towards acquiring new firms was clear in the second half of 2017 when two headline-making purchases were made. First was the acquisition of Royal Panda, a brand that, on the face of it at least, was a key competitor to LeoVegas, and as such it was interesting to see the Swedish firm solve that issue by purchasing them outright.
This also gives the Leo team access to Royal Panda’s intellectual property, and as an online casino of some repute, it’ll be interesting to see how it makes the most of that. The brand has also taken its first steps into online streaming and so-called ‘social gaming’ with the purchase of GroundWorks, a specialist network that brings together streamers and a live audience.
Perhaps the most innovative move that LeoVegas made in 2017 was its added Google Maps functionality, which will surely prove to be a game-changer. Any time a punter in Sweden searches for a sports facility or arena, any betting odds relating to that venue are displayed with a direct link to LeoVegas’ betting portal. It’s that kind of forward-thinking that’ll surely establish LeoVegas as one of the top betting and casino brands to watch in 2018 and beyond.
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