If you are a NetEnt fan, then we have news for you. The software provider recently published its 2018 annual report and there are many important things to take note of in that 120-pages-long document. First and foremost, the company saw an 8.9% year-on-year growth, while the revenue rose to SEK 1,782 million (14.50 million) in 2018. So, financially speaking, the company is doing great. However, those are just numbers that keep fluctuating every year. What made 2018 noteworthy is that the company had a massive regime change.
The top-management saw an overhaul when the board of directors appointed Therese Hillman as the new CEO in March 2018. Fredrik Erbing was elected as new Chairman during the same time. Also, Lars Johansson was appointed the Chief Financial Officer in the last leg of 2018.
A corporate revamping usually means a change in the company’s future strategies and NetEnt is no exception. The annual report lists many such changes in terms of financial data and numbers. However, in this blog post, we decided to only focus on things that would impact you, the players.
So, we combed through the long report and here is what we found to be most interesting and of importance for NetEnt fans.
More games, more fun
In 2018, NetEnt launched 21 slot games that include popular titles like The Phantom’s Curse, Asgardian Stones, Hotline, Archangels Salvation, Lost Relics, Jumanji, Mirror Mirror, BerryBurst MAX, Double Stacks, Halloween Jack, Vikings and Jingle Spin.
In 2019, the company has pledged to release more games. NetEnt plans to increase the number of new game releases to between 30 and 35 this year. Also, it plans to continue to develop their offerings in the live casino segment by introducing new functions and designs.
Taking cues from 2018, this year, NetEnt wants to become more actively involved with players.
The annual report stated that they are extending their operations through the addition of new products and services, such as social casino and the affiliate business.
The newly appointed CEO, Hillman confirmed this by stating that, “There will now be a greater focus on what players want. It’s important for us to tailor and adapt games to target audiences and markets.” Hillman also said that the company will analyse player data on a daily basis using their in-house tools in order to identify the gaming experiences which are most popular among players.
So, in 2019, you can expect some interesting titles that are highly customised to the players’ tastes. NetEnt also plans on having more contact with players. This will take place via their website, games.netent.com, and their new affiliate business, as well as through social media and marketing.
Cross more borders
One of the key growth strategies NetEnt intends to implement during 2019 is to keep expanding its geographical boundaries. Meaning, NetEnt wants to be available for players from new countries and regions.
During 2018, NetEnt’s revenues rose on regulated markets such as Italy, Spain and the US (New Jersey). The company’s new games were also launched in the regulated markets of Canada (British Columbia) and Lithuania. New customer contracts were signed with ATG and Svenska Spel ahead of the re-regulation of the Swedish market. NetEnt also signed a deal with Veikkaus, Finland’s state-run gaming operator.
In 2019, expansion in Europe will continue to be the company’s top priority, followed by America and Asia. NetEnt will also focus on growth in locally regulated markets, although the company continues to operate on non-local markets which could become regulated in the future.
Small setback in the first quarter of 2019
A week later from releasing its annual, NetEnt also published 2019’s first quarter interim report on 25 April 2019. As per the report, the revenues of the company have taken a small hit this year, compared to the same quarter in 2018. Revenues for the first quarter amounted to SEK 418 million (£3.4 million), compared to SEK 430 million (£3.5 million) in the first quarter of 2018.
“The new rules have impacted our customers and players to an extent that we had not foreseen, and the combined effect of fewer players and lower average revenue per user has led to a weak start on the new regulations for the market,” noted the company release. As a result of the new gaming tax, NetEnt’s revenues were lowered by about 2% in this period.
But growth story continues
The revenues might have slipped marginally due to a new regulatory regime, however, the growth of NetEnt continues, both geographically and product offerings wise.
The company launched five new slot games in this period: Turn your Fortune, Strolling Staxx, Golden Grimoire, Scudamore’s Super Stakes and Temple of Nudges. Of these, Turn your Fortune was the most successful and popular among punters. NetEnt also managed to get some brand-new brand collaborations for new games based on Conan and Ozzy Osbourne, and a new Live Casino product called Perfect Blackjack, which was presented at ICE in London.
As far as its territorial dominance is concerned, the firm obtained authorisation to deliver games in Pennsylvania (USA) and a permanent license in New Jersey (USA). During the first quarter, NetEnt also signed 8 new customer agreements and 9 new online casino sites. These numbers are higher compared to last years.
Still the market leader
NetEnt has been an industry leader for decades. Although new innovative providers such as Red Tiger may sometimes challenge this old giant, numbers prove that it is still the software leader when it comes to online gambling.
In short, if NetEnt is your favourite software provider, there is nothing to worry. They are very much at the top of their game and the gaming business.