Cherry Interim Report 2 2016, 1 January- 30 June 2016

Highlights

Second quarter: Revenues grew to MSEK 191.7 (+80%) – Acquisition of ComeOn

  •  Group revenue increased by 80 percent to MSEK 191.7 (106.7). Online made up 81 percent (63) of the group revenues. 
  •  Profitability improved considerably and EBITDA amounted to MSEK 14.8 (-0.4). EBIT amounted to MSEK 6.0 (-5.2). The result was burdened with acquisition costs for ComeOn and Nasdaq listing costs of MSEK 4.0.
  •  The result after tax was MSEK 8.4 (-6.8), equivalent to SEK 0.21 (-0.52) per share after dilution and minority interests. 
  •  Online Gaming grew by 113 percent and EBITDA amounted to MSEK 8.6 (-2.3). The figures are not including ComeOn.
  •  Yggdrasil Gaming grew by 810 percent and EBITDA amounted to MSEK 9.8 (-1.2).  
  •  Restaurant Casino’s turnover amounted to MSEK 35.9 (39.6) and EBITDA amounted to MSEK 3.1 (5.3). The decrease is due to seasonality effects in terms of when holidays occurred during the second quarter.
  •  Cherry signed an agreement regarding the purchase of 49% of the shares in ComeOn Malta Ltd with an option to acquire the remaining 51%. The acquisition means that Cherry’s position will strengthen considerably in the Scandinavian market. ComeOn’s management expects a turnover of between MSEK 930 and MSEK 1,130 and an EBIT of between MSEK 180 and MSEK 220 for 2016. The acquisition is expected to have a significantly positive effect on Cherry’s earnings per share from 20 July 2016.
  •  In June, Yggdrasil Gaming was awarded an operator’s licence by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority.
  •  Yggdrasil signed agreements with five new operators, including bwin.party and Interwetten.
  •  The Group’s consolidated cash amounted to MSEK 67.8 (24.7) at the end of the second quarter 2016. 

Six-month interim period: Revenues increased to MSEK 369.0 (+83%) with a positive EBITDA of MSEK 40.5 

  •  Group turnover increased by 83 percent compared to the previous year and amounted to MSEK 369.0 (202.0). Online made up 80 percent (63) of the group revenue.
  •  Profitability improved considerably and EBITDA amounted to MSEK 40.5 (-4.9). EBIT amounted to MSEK 23.5 (-14.1).
  •  The result after tax amounted to MSEK 25.9 (-18.6) equivalent to SEK 1.01 (-1.40) per share after dilution & minority int.
  •  Online Gaming grew by 115 percent and EBITDA amounted to MSEK 25.1 (-8.0). The figures are not including ComeOn.
  •  Yggdrasil Gaming grew by 661 percent and EBITDA amounted to MSEK 17.7 (-1.6). 
  •  Restaurant Casino had a turnover in line with the previous year and EBITDA amounted to MSEK 7.6 (9.2).

Important events after the end of the quarter

  •  On 20 July, Cherry acquired 49 percent of the shares in ComeOn Malta Ltd.
  •  The site EuroSlots has been relaunched and will have increased marketing exposure thanks to a cooperation with the Malta- and Denmark-based Power Media Group and their affiliate network Matching Visions.
  •  In August, Yggdrasil Gaming went live with the world’s largest gaming operator, bet365.
  •  In August, Cherry-owned Game Lounge acquired the assets of renowned affiliate company Interclick Limited, which has been active in the German and British markets for 14 years. The purchase price amounts to MUSD 1.5 and Game Lounge acquires around 40 domains and affiliate accounts. The acquisition is expected to have a payback time of less than 1.5 years and is expected to increase turnover by approximately MEUR 1.3 and EBITDA by MEUR 1.0 per year.

CEO comments second quarter
Cherry continued to deliver according to its strategy, which combines strong organic growth with strategic acquisitions. The second quarter shows continued strong growth and a significant increase in profits. In the second quarter, the Group’s growth reached 80 percent. Cherry's online activities continue to grow considerably faster than the market, now representing 81 percent (63) of Group sales, and we henceforth expect to grow faster than the market.

During the quarter, Cherry announced the acquisition of 49 percent of ComeOn and the transaction was finalised on July 20. The acquisition means that Cherry strengthens its position in online gaming against our competitors in both Scandinavian and European markets, while at the same time adding strong brands. Cherry reinforces its customer base in sports betting, which accounts for about one third of ComeOn’s turnover. Both the business areas Online Gaming - Cherry iGaming and ComeOn are growing considerably faster than the market with good profitability and this allows for further investment in existing brands with continued expansion in new markets. Alongside ComeOn’s management and its founders, the work to quickly maximise common values and offerings has begun and the integration process is ongoing. For the second quarter, ComeOn reports a 31 percent growth, a preliminary turnover of approximately MSEK 225 and an EBIT amounting to about MSEK 53. If, for the second quarter in 2016, Cherry Group and ComeOn figures were consolidated, the combined turnover would amount to approximately MSEK 403 and EBITDA to around MSEK 68. For 2016, ComeOn’s management expects a turnover of between MSEK 930 to MSEK 1,130 and an operating profit of between MSEK 180 and MSEK 220 million. The acquisition is expected to have a significant positive effect on earnings per share already this year. 

During the second quarter, Cherry's business area Online Gaming - Cherry iGaming enjoyed very strong growth of 113 percent. The activity on our gaming sites grew strongly and the number of active customers increased by as much as 202 percent. Compared to the second quarter of 2015, deposits increased by 110 percent. During the quarter, the gaming surplus from mobile devices increased by 72 percent. Marketing activities intensified during the quarter and increased to MSEK 47.0 (23.5), which represented 34 percent of Online Gaming revenues for the second quarter. During the period, we continued to upgrade our gaming sites with our latest technology and new product verticals. Among many things, Lotto was introduced on CherryCasino and sports betting was implemented on Sunmaker. After the quarter, EuroSlots teamed up with a large master affiliate and the site has been updated with the latest technology. The affiliate company Game Lounge continues to develop positively. The acquisition of the assets of prestigious company Interclick Ltd will increase affiliate revenues and help Game Lounge enter both the German and the English markets, which is well in line with Cherry iGaming’s expansion plans. Cherry iGaming will, in addition to the licences it already has, continue to seek local licences where we expect strong growth, and we have also initiated an application process to obtain an operator's license in the UK, which is expected to be in place during the second half of 2016. Today, Cherry iGaming is well positioned with a platform that makes it possible to quickly and efficiently add new products and skins.

Game development - Yggdrasil Gaming - continued to experience outstanding performance in the second quarter, as revenues grew by 810 percent and the EBITDA margin amounted to 49 percent. During the second quarter, bet turnover increased by 1,434 percent. Mobile gaming accounted for 48 percent (25) of the total Gross Game Win. During the quarter, Yggdrasil received a licence for the jurisdiction of Gibraltar, from where a number of major game operators operate. During the quarter, three new innovative quality games were delivered, which were well received by both customers and operators and five new agreements were signed with operators including bwin.party and Interwetten. In June 2016, Yggdrasil was named "Slot Provider of the Year" at the EGR B2B Awards in London, which is recognition of the company's market-leading portfolio of video slots. After the quarter, Yggdrasil, launched another new innovative and industry-first promotional tool, "BRAG", which allows players to share their gaming on social media. In August, Yggdrasil also went live with the world's largest gaming operator bet365. As new operators are deployed, more games are launched at existing customers and the game portfolio grows, Yggdrasil revenues continue to increase.

Restaurant Casino - Cherry Spelglädje - continues to deliver solid results despite poorly timed holidays that have had a negative impact on turnover. During the quarter, we undertook a significant recruitment of croupiers. A new site - Cherry Spelglädje – was also launched, to continue attracting the best employees. Cherry is the only private gaming company included in the reference group for new gaming legislation in Sweden, and Cherry attended the Almedalen week political forum to discuss the important issue of raising stake size with interested politicians.

As previously announced, Cherry has applied for a listing on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange, a task that has been postponed in favour of the acquisition of ComeOn. Now resources have been freed up for this important task, the ambition is still to be listed during 2016.

Our ambition is to continue to grow faster than the market and we are well equipped to do this both through organic growth and acquisitions. Our strategy, in combination with differentiated business areas, will create excellent opportunities for continued high growth, high profitability and strong value growth. We look forward to continue to spread the joy of playing, both online and at the pub!

Fredrik Burvall, CEO  

For further information please see the full Interim Report 2016. http://cherry.se/en/financial-reports/

Translation
This is a translation of the Swedish original.

For further information, please contact:
Fredrik Burvall, CEO Cherry AB (publ), telephone +46 8-514 969 52, +46 709 279 632, Email:
fredrik.burvall@cherry.se Gunnar Modalen, Head of Investor Relations & Communication Cherry AB (publ), telephone +46 702 802 636, gunnar.modalen@cherry.se

About Us

Cherry is a Swedish innovating and fast-growing company with operations in gaming, entertainment and media. The company was established in 1963 and today operates through five diversified business areas: Online Gaming, Game Development, Online Marketing, Gaming Technology, and Restaurant Casino. The objective is to grow organically in combination with strategic acquisitions of fast-growing companies. Cherry employs some 1,400 people and has about 9,250 shareholders. The company’s class B share is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange, Mid Cap segment. More information is available at www.cherry.se.

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