Aspire Global has maintained ‘continued strong business momentum’ in the first quarter of 2022 according to CEO Tshashi Maimon, as the group prepares to move forward with its €410 million merger with NeoGames.
The international B2B gambling group recorded an increase in Q1 revenues of 31.7% to €46.3 million (Q1 2021: €35.2m), along with a rise in EBITDA of 18.7 % to €8.2 million (€6.9m), amounting to an slightly lower EBITDA margin of 17.8% (19.7%).
Meanwhile, EBIT stood at €5.6 million (€4.9m), an increase of 13.6%, whilst earnings after tax rose by 4.7% to €4.8 million (€4.5m) and earnings per share remained the same as the corresponding quarter the previous year at €0.10.
The trading update marks Aspire Global’s second quarter as a solely B2B focused business, following the divestment of its B2C units to Esports Technologies in October 2021 for a total consideration of $75.9 million.
Having streamlined its operations as a B2B business, Aspire has secured growth across multiple European and North American markets, notably securing a licence for its full offering in the Netherlands and inking a deal between its BtoBet brand – which recorded a revenue increase of 88.3% during the quarter – and BoyleSports in the country.
Additional European developments have seen BtoBet expand its presence in the Danish sports betting market and in Germany deals have been struck with ITSP and in the esports space with WIN Group, whilst in North America Pariplay has linked with Golden Nugget and Alberta Gaming, and gained licences in Ontario and Michigan and a GLI-19 certification in the US and Canada.
Maimon remarked: “We have a continued strong business momentum and the quarterly performance once again demonstrates the strengths of our offering and the capabilities of our highly motivated team. Aspire Global has set new records in the quarter with revenues of €46.3 million and EBITDA of €8.2 million.
“I’m especially proud to see the progress we have made in the quarter in North America as well as in regulated European markets by adding tier 1-operators to our client list and being awarded additional certifications. Aspire Global has clearly established itself as a leading igaming supplier in regulated markets.”
Moving forward, Maimon addressed the proposed takeover of Aspire by NeoGames, which he asserted ‘proves the value the company has created’ over the past four and a half years since its Nasdaq listing in 2017.
NeoGames has put forward a bid of SEK 111 (€11) per share for Aspire, representing a total consideration of SEK 4.3 billion (€410m), a proposal which has been accepted by Aspire’s board and has resulted in its share price increasing by 270%.
Maimon maintained that the Aspire board ‘look forward to being part of NeoGames’ due to the ‘promising growth opportunities’ of the new combination, which the CEO argued would enable the companies to achieve substantial value by playing off of each other’s key strengths.
“The offer by NeoGames, a technology-driven provider of end-to-end iLottery solutions, is a natural step for Aspire Global and a strategic fit,” he commented.
“Aspire Global is today clearly positioned as a leading igaming supplier in regulated markets. As part of the NeoGame’s Group, Aspire Global will continue to take advantage of its key strengths. Beside the cutting-edge, technology advanced offering, and skilled teams,
“Aspire Global’s foremost asset is the long-term commitment to its partners. On top of our agenda is always the success of our partners and our ability to support in the fulfilment of their potential. Through our strong partnerships with leading operators and distributors, we will continue to build long-term value.”
Lastly, Maimon also addressed regional considerations moving forward, noting that Pariplahy’s strong presence in North America – where deals have been clinched with multiple operators – has driven revenue growth of 39% for the brand.
However, he also acknowledged that Aspire had terminated its contract with National Russian Lottery operator Sports Lotteries LLC due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the location of 118 of the firm’s employees in Kyiv.