Rebooted Mr Green debuts on Nasdaq Stockholm

Rebooted Mr Green debuts on Nasdaq Stockholm

Thursday, December 1, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
New listing opens up company to greater investor interest

The chief executive of Mr Green, one of the companies seen as being at the forefront of the Scandinavian online casino revolution, says the company has undergone an organisational reboot in the face of a more cutthroat competitive marketplace.

Boss Per Norman was speaking after the company marked its move to a primary listing on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange. The previously largely casino-focused Mr Green was launched in 2007 and until now has been listed on AktieTorget, the junior exchange in Stockholm.

Norman said the move to the main Nasdaq Stockholm list would give it greater access to both institutional investors and capital. “Some funds can’t invest in companies on AktieTorget (an MTF),” Norman told TotallyGaming.com. “You can have a hard time getting investors on board. Plus there is less coverage from the analysts. Lastly, there is the stamp of quality that being on the main list can give us.”

The company initiated what Norman said was a “comprehensive change process” back in 2015 as it sought to strengthen the organisation and its management team in the face of increased tech-enabled competition. The process involved investing in a new technology platform in order to develop a more responsive customer offering.

“We identified that we needed some changes,” he added. “We felt that the existing platform needed to be developed. We needed it to be more flexible. We needed to cater more for a 360-degree proposition. So we put together our new strategy.”

The system now employed is agile in a tech sense where there is a constant development process albeit with targets embedded within it, such as specific marketing campaigns, and also working within the strictures of what can be achieved working with the “big monolithic structures” of the third-party providers.

“We have developed a stable and reliable technological system that can handle integration with external systems,” explained Norman. “The rapid launch of the Sportsbook is a typical example. The Sportsbook offering was designed by Kambi and has been integrated with Mr Green’s technology platform. By combining Kambi’s Sportsbook technology with its own technology, Mr Green can provide a unique gaming experience.”

It is perhaps no coincidence this is taking place in Stockholm, a city which has gained a reputation as something of an online technology hub.  “There is a lot of tech competence available there and a lot of investment money,” said Norman. “And everyone in the gambling space comes from online. No one has a background in land-based gaming. It means they are unencumbered by old ways of thinking about gambling. It is something of the Hollywood effect; a coterie of companies is an area will generate even more companies.”

Mr Green’s third-quarter results showed total revenues rising 14 percent to SEK230 (€23.5m) but EBITDA fell markedly to SEK17.4m from SEK40.8m on the back of higher gambling taxes in the markets the company operates in and increased marketing spend. Marketing costs rose 51 percent on 2015 to SEK85.5m, but the higher spend had an effect: the number of active customers rose 39 percent year-on-year while customer deposits were up 21 percent on the prior-year period.

In terms of geographical revenue splits, Mr Green generated circa 37 percent of third-quarter revenues from the Nordics region with a further third coming from western Europe and most of the rest coming from elsewhere in central, southern and eastern Europe.

Totally Gaming says: The regional revenue splits for Mr Green and its launch this year of a sportsbook makes it clear the company is much more than a Scandinavian-focused online casino entity. However, the impetus behind the recent corporate overhaul is heavily influenced by the competition emanating  from similarly Stockholm-inspired (if not wholly based) gambling entities. If Mr Green is any yardstick, there will be more innovation to come from that direction in the years ahead.

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