Online success drives growth at FL Entertainment in record 2023

Revenue for the 12 months to 31 December 2023 reached €4.32bn (£3.69bn/$4.73bn). This was up from the €4.05bn FL Entertainment reported in the previous year on a reported and pro forma basis.

FL Entertainment reported growth in all areas across its two core divisions in 2023: online gaming and sports, and content production and distribution. The former, which includes Betclic Everest Group, which owns both German-facing and Betclic, was where the group reported the most growth.

There was also modest revenue growth in the content production and distribution segment. This, FL Entertainment said, was helped by a several new acquisitions during the year.

CEO François Riahi hailed this growth, saying it sets the group up for further success in 2024 and beyond.

“We delivered record results in 2023, powered by the continued strong performance of both businesses,” Riahi said. “Since we listed two years ago, we have increased our revenue by 30% and our adjusted EBITDA by 26%, illustrating the strength of our business model. 

“During this time, our revenues with OTT players in content production have increased by 75%. We have also expanded our activities into the live experiences space through M&A, which will contribute to growth moving forward.”

Double-digit betting and gaming growth in 2023

Breaking down the 2023 figures, online gaming and sports betting drew €996.2m in revenue. This was 19.3% ahead of €835.0m in the previous year, despite 2022’s results including the Fifa World Cup.

FL Entertainment said this was underpinned by ongoing strong momentum from unique active players, with good retention from the World Cup, and commercial development. It also notes that all segments here recorded double-digit growth in 2023.

Sportsbook revenue increased 14.4% to €766.4m, casino 47.7% to €154.7m, poker 23.1% to €154.7m and turf 33.3% to €13.7m.

“Underpinned by our resolute commitment to responsible gaming – with 99% of revenues coming from locally regulated countries – we developed our leading positions in France, Portugal and Poland and successfully expanded into the Ivory Coast, with more to come in Africa,” Riahi said.

Content production and distribution remains the primary source of revenue for the group. In 2023, revenue was 3.4% higher at €3.32bn, with the non-gaming division benefitting from several new acquisitions.

Adjusted net profit hits €232.2m at FL Entertainment

In terms of costs, spending was higher in certain areas. External expenses jumped 12.0% to €2.30bn but personnel costs were down 2.3% to €1.26bn while restructuring costs were also lower.

With revenue growth more than offsetting spending, operating profit in 2023 climbed 59.8% to €400.5m. After also including €244.4m in net finance costs, this left a pre-tax profit of €151.8m, in contrast to an $8.3m loss in 2022.

FL Entertainment paid €78.2m in tax, resulting in a net profit of €73.6m, compared to 2022’s €85.2m loss. In addition, adjusted EBITDA increased by 10.6% to €736.7m. 

The group also reported adjusted net profit, which discounts some expenses. These include restructuring costs and LITP and employment-related earn-out and option expenses, while it also accounts for other finance income.

As such, adjusted net profit amounted to €323.2m, up 6.8% from €302.6m in 2022.

High expectations for 2024

Looking ahead to 2024, FL Entertainment is confident of further growth. This, it says, will be helped by its differentiated strengths, flexible business model and opportunities from structural trends and new consumer behaviours.

As such, it is forecasting high-single digit organic growth for adjusted EBITDA in 2024. 

“We are confident that we will continue to deliver profitable growth across all activities thanks to our unique positioning in the entertainment industry,” CEO Riahi said. “One of our top priorities will also be expanding our free float and stock liquidity, so that our strong operational performance can result in value creation for all our shareholders.”

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