Sweden's gaming industry is starting to show signs of recovery, albeit only slightly. Svenska Spel reported net gaming earnings of SEK2.2 billion ($245.2 million) for the fourth quarter of last year, up 5% from the previous-year period.
While the group claimed that the increase is due to the reopening of its land-based casinos, it noted that "renewed consequences of the pandemic in December 2021 have had negative effects on net gambling revenues."
The Q4 2021 operating profit was SEK611 million ($64.67 million). This is a 13% reduction from the prior-year period. The new restrictions caused a 27% drop in operating margin. This was due to increased costs, but also lower revenues.
The monopoly's TUR lottery division performed similarly to its fiscal year 2020 performance. It generated SEK4.91 billion ($527,82 million) for fiscal year 2021 revenues, compared to the fiscal year 2020 figure of SEK4.85 billion ($521.37 million).
The TUR unit designed a more personalized service for its customers and implemented a better customer experience through its digital channels. It also launched the Viking Lotto platform and several digital lottery games.
Svenska Spel was still impacted by COVID-19 in 2021. The company could not reopen at all in land-based casinos Cosmopol or Vegas, and the virus continued to spread through the country.
Svenska Spel reported that SEK40 million ($4.3 million) was paid out via its Grasroten program to 8,930 associations, as well as their youth sports. Additionally, the group noted that its board of directors will propose a SEK2.9-billion ($311.75 million) dividend at the 2022 Annual General Meeting.
Patrik Hobbauer, Svenska Spel's CEO and president, stated that he was happy to present the dividend option to the government. He added, "The fact that our surplus goes to the Swedish people via the Treasury is one of the reasons why we are the entire Swedish gaming company. Our operations are still strongly affected by the pandemic, but as a whole, we have good growth and profitability for the group."
The company also reported its financial results for all of 2021. Net gaming revenue increased by 6% to SEK8.14 billion ($875 million) year-on-year, while operating profit increased by 3% to SEK2.46 billion ($264.45 million).
The company added in a statement, "When Svenska Spel sums up 2021, it is with continued growth and good profitability for the group despite the unfavourable impact of the pandemic."
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