Austria-based gaming equipment maker and operator Novomatic AG Group said group-wide earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at EUR305.9 million (US$365.9 million) in 2020, down 55.4 percent from the previous year. The company stated that its performance last year was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to its annual report.
The group reported revenue of EUR1.74 billion for full-2020, a decline of 33.1 percent from a year earlier. The said that the pandemic and associated measures to contain the further spread of the virus represented a “major and unprecedented challenge”.
Novomatic reported a loss attributable to shareholders of EUR227.8 million for full-year 2020. That compares with a profit of EUR88.8 million in 2019.
The group – traditionally strong in Europe and the Americas – has been working to increase the presence of its casino gaming machine products in Asia-Pacific markets.
The company said it recorded revenues of EUR1.07 billion in its gaming operations segment, down 35.4 percent from 2019. That was “due in particular to the forced closure of numerouslocations for several months,” it stated.
Sales revenues in the gaming technology segment fell by 29.2 percent year-on-year, to EUR670.0 million in full-2020. “This year-on-year reduction also being due to the significant restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” it said.
Revenues of the group’s companies under the gaming technology segment in the “other markets region” fell by 48.6 percent year-on-year, to EUR102.0 million in 2020.
The “largest deviation” was related to Australian slot machine maker Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd, “which reported a revenue loss of EUR71.1 million due to the Covid-19 pandemic.” Novomatic controls a 52-percent stake in Ainsworth Game.
Novomatic operated and leased more than 214,000 gaming devices at the end of 2020, according to the annual report. The company is active in several gaming segments around the world, including casino business, lotteries, sports betting, online gaming and mobile play.
In the latest report, the group said that the lockdowns that “brought slot arcade, casino and betting site operations to a virtual standstill for around four months,” meant that the group’s online segment “was able to generate significant revenue growth.”
Revenue in the online segment grew by 45.2 percent year-on-year, to EUR187.7 million. But the firm added: “This was in no way enough to offset the losses in the brick-and-mortar business.”
Despite of what it described as a “difficult environment,” Novomatic said it “succeeded in reducing net debt” to just above EUR1.46 billion in 2020. “At 27.7 percent, the equity ratio wasslightly below that in the previous year and free cash flow remains clearly positive at EUR296.6 million,” it added.
Novomatic said in February it had restructured the group’s sales and production departments, in a bid to “increase efficiency” and “amplify synergy potential”.
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