Nils Anden - Kindred

Nils Andén, CEO of Malta-headquartered Kindred Group, has dubbed 2023 a “significant year” for the major online gambling operator, in which it recorded £1.2 billion (€1.4 billion) in revenue, 13.3 per cent more than in 2022 (£1.1 billion or €1.3 billion).

His review of the performance came as the company published its Annual and Sustainability Report for the financial year ended 31st December 2023. In the report, it revealed a pre-tax profit of £59.5 million (€69.7 million) for 2023, 53 per cent lower than the £126.8 million (€148.5 million) registered at the end of 2022. The primary reason behind this drop in profitability was Kindred Group’s decision in November 2023 to exit its North American market, with this prompting increases in market closure and termination costs, as well as impairment losses.

Total assets for 2023 contracted slightly to £1.2 billion (€1.4 billion), while cash and cash equivalents for the year amounted to £240.3 million (€281.3 million).

Commenting on the performance, Mr Andén said that Kindred Group achieved “success in locally regulated markets.”

“In what has been a very significant year for Kindred, I would like to begin by thanking my colleagues across the group for their unwavering support and dedication throughout the year. Kindred is on a positive trajectory, and I am very excited about the path ahead,” he affirmed.

Mr Andén described Kindred Group as an “extremely successful growth story over the years,” stating that it has been able to come together as a team and be committed to “transforming gambling by being a trusted source of entertainment that contributes positively to society.”

He remarked that in 2023, Kindred Group’s Board of Directors initiated a strategic review of the group, including a potential sale of the business. There were changes in management, including Mr Andén’s appointment to interim CEO, a move that was made permanent last month. Despite these changes, he said that the “underlying business continued to perform well in key markets and remedial action was taken to address underperformance in other markets.”

The strategic review prompted a public cash offer in January 2024 for Kindred Group from French national operator La Française des Jeux, an offer that the group’s Board of Directors has unanimously recommended shareholders accept. The process is expected to be completed in 2024’s final quarter.

“While a successful completion of the acquisition will open the door to a completely new chapter for Kindred, after 20 years as a listed company on NASDAQ Stockholm, I and the entire executive management team believe that this is a positive outcome of the strategic review. To be successful in locally regulated markets requires scale, resources, and a long-term commitment,” Andén explained.

He proceeded to highlight a number of key updates to Kindred Group’s operations, including its re-entry into the re-regulated market in the Netherlands and the successful implementation of the customer affordability framework in the UK.

“Growing our share of revenue from locally regulated markets remains a major focus for us and we continue to demonstrate our ability to navigate complex local regulation, deliver a compelling customer proposition, and ultimately build further market share,” he said.

Mr Andén also stated that Kindred Group has continued to work to reduce revenue generated from harmful gambling. He noted that even though progress in this regard is “slower” than the company would like, he is confident that through investment in technology and partnerships, this ambition will be reached.

He also highlighted that the decision taken in 2023 to exit the North American market in 2024 came after the path to profitability in the continent proved to be “unreasonably long and significantly more investment was required in order to build sufficient scale.” “Our decision to exit North America in November 2023 was painful, but correct,” Mr Andén clarified.

Looking ahead, he remained confident that Kindred Group will have a fruitful summer, particularly given that a number of major sporting events will be held.

Featured Image:

Kindred Group CEO Nils Andén / Kindred Group

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