Kindred Predicts Return To Dutch Top Spot In 2023

September 15, 2022
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Kindred Group predicted it will return to number one position in the Netherlands by the end of next year, but will not break even in North America until 2026.

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Kindred Group predicted it will return to number one position in the Netherlands by the end of next year, but will not break even in North America until 2026.

Kindred plummeted from the top spot in the Dutch market after regulation for online gambling came into effect last October 1, when the government forced anyone without a licence to pull out until they got one.

But Kindred executives, buoyed by revenue and returning player numbers they said exceeded expectations, forecast a return to leadership in the £1bn revenue Netherlands market by the end of 2023.

Enticed by TV commercials blaring the 1970s hit, “The Boys Are Back in Town”, players were so eager for Kindred to return they sent Christmas cards, according to chief commercial officer Anne-Jaap Snijders.

The company expects a 15 percent market share by the end of this year, he said.

The market forecast came even though government-owned Holland Casino and Netherlands Lottery surged into an early lead, and rival Entain has agreed to acquire BetCity, which it claims had a 20 percent market share in the fourth quarter of 2021.

By contrast, Kindred executives were subdued on US prospects, where it reported a £7.4m EBITDA loss for the second quarter in North America.

A marketing war has made nearly every online operator unprofitable so far, with Kindred claiming its slower “sustainable” approach is set to pay off in the long run.

Because of that marketing onslaught, Kindred has held back on spending in the US, chief commercial officer Nils Anden said.

“There was no rational way to get payback on that,” he said.

Both forecasts came in its capital markets presentation on Wednesday (September 14) in London.

Earlier that day, the Stockholm-listed company announced 2025 targets, including revenue of at least £1.6bn and underlying EBITDA margin of 21 percent to 22 percent.

It also reported average gross winnings revenue of £2.9m per day from July 1 to September 11 this year, or 12 percent lower than its full third-quarter average for the third quarter of 2021, a drop mostly attributable to it being forced to pull out of the Dutch market until it got a licence.

It relaunched in the Netherlands this July 4 and it reported £317,000 average daily gross win there during the period through to September 11.

Proposed Dutch restrictions on gambling advertising should not overly affect Kindred as clampdowns favour brands with high consumer awareness, according to Snijders.

Kindred’s Unibet brand is second in Dutch gambling brand awareness, he said.

A consultation on possible amendments to Dutch gambling law, which could include sports sponsorship bans, closed on September 4.

Kindred is monitoring the African and South American markets, but it is in no rush to enter them as it feels there is plenty of growth in Europe and North America, said Anden.

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