Ad
Ad
Ad

ZEAL Publishes 2019 Annual Report and New Dividend Policy

April 1, 2020 | Lottery News

  • Preliminary figures for 2019 confirmed
  • Proposed dividend payment more than doubled
  • Outlook 2020 strengthened

HAMBURG, Germany — ZEAL Network SE (Lotto24.de, Tipp24.com), the leading provider of state lottery products on the Internet, today published the 2019 annual report and the preliminary figures for the fiscal year already published on February 19, 2020 2019 confirmed.

After the successful integration of Lotto24 AG, the conversion of the business model to online lottery brokerage and the relocation back to Hamburg, ZEAL increased the transaction volume – thanks to the takeover of Lotto24 and despite the extensive organizational changes and the significantly weaker EuroJackpot development compared to the previous year – by 58% to EUR 466.7 million (2018: EUR 296.3 million). Due to a profit payment owed to the old secondary lottery business and the announced sales dissynergies from the change in business model, sales were below the previous year’s figure at EUR 113.5 million (2018: EUR 154.8 million).

As announced, the company managed to further reduce the cost base: Although additional costs of EUR 22.0 million were incurred as part of the Lotto24 takeover, the total costs decreased by EUR 20.6 million to EUR 91.9 million. Euros (2018: 112.5 million euros). With acquisition costs per registered new customer (cost per lead, CPL) of EUR 32.50 (2018: EUR 34.90), the ZEAL Group gained 274 thousand registered new customers in the 2019 financial year – this only includes the Lotto24 new customers since the takeover on May 14, 2019 and new Tipp24 customers since the change of business model on October 15, 2019. At 731 thousand, the average number of active customers per month (MAU) is 1increased significantly after the acquisition of Lotto24 (2018: 404 thousand). As a result of the closure of the second lottery business in October 2019, the average transaction volume per customer (ABPU) 2 decreased to 53.20 euros (2018: 57.57 euros).

¹ MAU (monthly active users): Is the average number of active customers per month in 2019. Until May 14, 2019, this key figure only includes the Tipp24 users. From May 15, 2019 until the end of the year, both Lotto24 and Tipp24 customers are included.

² ABPU (average billings per user): For the calculation, the transaction volume in the year is divided by the sum of the monthly active customers. Until May 14, 2019, this key figure includes Tipp24 customers and their transaction volume. From May 15, 2019 to the end of the year, the customers of Lotto24 and Tipp24 as well as their respective transaction volume are included.

Adjusted EBITDA (operating earnings before depreciation and one-off expenses) was expected to be below the previous year’s figure (2018: EUR 47.7 million) due to the sales dissynergies and the last major profit payment, but within the scope of the most recently raised amount Forecast between 27 million euros and 30 million euros. After the increased depreciation and amortization of EUR 8.8 million (2018: EUR 1.2 million) and the additional one-time expenses of EUR 11.4 million (2018: EUR 8.3 million), this fell EBIT to EUR 9.1 million (2018: EUR 38.3 million).

Proposed dividend payment more than doubled

In the course of the takeover of Lotto24 AG and the change of business model thus completed, ZEAL Network SE has adjusted the dividend policy to the new general conditions and after the relocation of the company headquarters to Germany in October 2019 no longer distributed interim dividends in accordance with German practice.

The company’s dividend policy is based on continuity and sustainable earnings development. Due to the positive liquidity situation of the ZEAL Group in 2019 and the expected, increasing profitability, the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting on June 17, 2020, a total distribution of EUR 17.6 million (2018: EUR 8.4 million). This corresponds to a dividend of EUR 0.80 per share for the 2019 financial year (2018: EUR 1.00). Depending on the economic development of the ZEAL Group, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board also intend to propose to the shareholders an annual dividend increase over the next few years – with the aim of achieving 1.00 Euro per share in 2022.

“We checked our dividend policy against the background of the change in business model, the sustainability of the online lottery brokerage business and the growth opportunities in the German market,” said Jonas Mattsson, CFO of ZEAL Network SE. “We want to be attractive to our shareholders not only as the leading German provider of online lottery products – largely independent of the economic cycle and with comparatively low risk – but also through our consistent dividend policy, which is based on continuity and sustainable earnings development.”

Outlook 2020 confirmed

ZEAL plans to become the market leader as an online provider of state lottery products with the Lotto24 and Tipp24 brands in the 2020 financial yearto expand further. Aware that the comparative figures from the previous year due to the takeover of Lotto24 in May 2019 and the change in business model from the second lottery to the online lottery broker in Germany in October 2019 are difficult to compare with the figures forecast for 2020, the ZEAL Group anticipates in the 2020 financial year a transaction volume between EUR 550 million and EUR 570 million. This includes for the first time the year-round transaction volume of Lotto24 as well as the discontinuation of international products as part of the termination of the second lottery business. Based on the expected dissynergies as a result of the change in business model, ZEAL anticipates sales of between EUR 70 million and EUR 73 million. Since the gross margin in the online lottery brokerage business is naturally lower than in the riskier second lottery business, the company expects a gross margin of around 12% – a level comparable to Lotto24 in recent years. Depending on the general conditions, in particular the jackpot development, the timing of the planned synergy effects and the marketing investments to acquire new customers, the EBITDA is expected to be between EUR 5 million and EUR 8 million. Due to the access to proven, more cost-effective marketing channels, the company expects the German business of the ZEAL Group to have almost twice as many new customers in 2020 with a CPL lower than in the previous year.

About ZEAL Network SE:

ZEAL Network SE, the leading German provider of state lottery products on the Internet, is a group of companies based in Hamburg, essentially under the brands Lotto24.de and Tipp24.comTickets sold by customers to the state state lottery companies and receive a commission for this. The range includes Lotto 6aus49, Spiel 77, Super 6, EuroJackpot, GlücksSpirale, Spielgemeinschaften, Keno and the German television lottery. Founded in Germany in 1999, ZEAL started out as a lottery broker. In 2005, Tipp24 AG was one of the most successful IPOs in Germany at the time on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Prime Standard). In 2009 the group changed its focus from lottery brokerage to the second lottery business and the company headquarters to London. In November 2014 the group was renamed ZEAL Network SE. In May 2019 ZEAL took over Lotto24 AG.

CONTACT: Frank Hoffmann, Investor Relations Manager, T: +49 (0) 40 808141-123, E: frank.hoffmann@zealnetwork.de

SOURCE: ZEAL Network SE.

Tags: ,