Betclic has driven growth for FL Entertainment’s online sports betting and gaming arm to offset declines at Bet-at-home.

Topline numbers

Media and betting company FL Entertainment has reported a 15.7% year-on-year rise in group revenue to €4bn in 2022.

Adjusted EBITDA rose by 10% to €670.2m, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 16.6%.

FL Entertainment was formed last year as part of a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger, which included Betclic Everest Group and its subsidiary bet-at-home, along with television production company Banijay.

Banijay remained the primary contributor of overall group revenue. Nevertheless, FL Entertainment’s online sports betting and gaming business experienced substantial growth, recording a 13% increase in revenue to €835m for 2022.

This segment also witnessed remarkable growth in Q4 2022 after generating revenue of €244.1m, a substantial surge of 34.2% when compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

News nugget

FL Entertainment’s online sports betting and gaming business has delivered impressive growth, especially considering the challenges faced by Bet-at-home during 2022.

Bet-at-home, which exited the UK market last year, already reported an 85% drop in EBITDA for 2022.

Online revenue increased by 19% in 2022 at constant exchange rates and excluding discontinued Bet-at-home operations.

This growth was primarily driven by a 21% revenue increase of the Betclic entity, which offset a 10% decline at Bet-at-home.

The World Cup in Q4 2022 significantly contributed to Betclic’s performance, with the tournament generating 7.5% of Betclic’s annual sportsbook stakes and 31% in annual new sportsbook Unique Active Players.

Moreover, FL CEO François Riahi praised Betclic’s technology infrastructure, which was put to the test during the World Cup.

The platform processed 6 million odds updates per day and settled 1.5 million bets just 13 seconds after the end of each football match.

By division and including Bet-at-home, revenue in the sportsbook division rose by 13.8% to €670.1m in 2022, with a 25% increase in Unique Active Players.

Online casino revenue rose by 2.7% to €104.8m, driven by greater gamification and the launch of new exclusive games, while online poker revenue increased by 13.1% €49.9m, partially due to cross-selling during the World Cup.

Betclic said its commitment to responsible gaming standards and operating in regulated markets had paid off, with 96.5% of 2022 revenue generated in locally regulated markets.

Best quote

FL Entertainment CEO François Riahi on Betclic’s strong 2022 performance:

“Betclic has been the most downloaded sports betting app in our core markets of France, Poland and Portugal, and the second most downloaded across Europe, thanks to our state-of-the-art technology platform which leads the way in terms of reliability and efficiency.”

Best question

During the earnings call, Riahi was questioned about FL Entertainment’s M&A strategy for the upcoming year.

He replied that the company is strongly considering mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the content production and distribution sector.

However, he also mentioned that it’s challenging to plan for the “truly transformative deals”, and the company must seize opportunities as they arise.

“Nonetheless, we will remain very disciplined as we don’t see any point in acquiring companies at a price where it will be difficult to create value,” he added.

Current trading & outlook

For financial year 2023, FL Entertainment expects mid to-single digit organic revenue growth for its content production & distribution division, but double-digit organic growth for online sports betting and gaming.

The company plans to leverage its increased player numbers generated during the FIFA World Cup and upcoming events like the UEFA Champions League to drive increased betting volumes.

The group has set an adjusted EBITDA target of around €710m for 2023.