Affiliate services provider for the gambling industry Gambling.com Group released its full year 2021 financial results Thursday, reporting revenue growth of 51% and a 17.8% drop in net income.
Organic Revenue Growth
Gambling.com Group’s revenue for the year ended December 31, 2021, amounted to $42.3 million, up from the $28 million reported in the previous year and in line with the group’s latest estimate of revenue in the range of $42.1 million and $42.5 million.
Growth was driven mainly by Gambling.com’s European operations excluding UK and Ireland which contributed to an increase of 106%, $10.8 million as compared to $5.3 million in 2020. North American operations made a significant contribution, up 89% to $7.5 million as compared to $4 million reported in 2020.
Organic revenue growth was fueled by the 13% increase in the number of new depositing customers to 117,000 as compared to 104,000 in the prior year, as well as improved monetization of new depositing customers attributed to technology improvements and changes in product and market mix.
“We grew our revenue in 2021 by 51% compared to the prior year, delivered an EBITDA margin of 43% and generated over $8 million of free cash flow as many other industry players struggled to find a path to sustainable profitability,” summarized the full year results Gambling.com Group’s CEO and Co-founder Charles Gillespie.
Increased Headcount Eroding Bottom Line
Operating expenses reached $30.9 million, up 84% on the previous year’s reading of $8.1 million, mainly driven by the 114% increase in general and administrative expenses. Sales and marketing expenses jumped 74%, while technology expenses increased by 58%.
Gambling.com accredited those increases to the increased number of headcount and the associated increase in salaries and wages across Administration, Sales and Marketing and Technology departments.
Favorable for the reporting period was the 134% reduction in credit losses allowances and write off which came out negative $97 million from $287 million in 2020 but this was not enough to completely offset the increase in other operating expenses.
The increase in revenue partly offset by the increase in operating expenses led to adjusted EBITDA of $18.4 million, up 26% to $14.6 million in 2020 and representing an adjusted EBITDA margin of 43%.
Operating profit was $11.4 million, marginally up on the $11.1 million in 2020, affected by non-recurring costs of $2.6 million related to the public offering and future acquisitions and $2 million of share-based payments costs.
Net income in 2021 amounted to $12.5 million, down 18% year-over-year on the $15.2 million registered in 2020. The company explained the decrease by favorable conditions in 2020 related to the recognition of deferred tax assets of $5.4 million ($1.8 million in 2021) and gains from bonds’ redemption of $1.4 million (zero in 2021).
At the end of the year, Gambling.com reported free cash flow of $8.4 million, down 28.6% on $10.8 million at the end of 2020. The decline was attributed to an increase of 28% in cash generated from operations to $14.0 million being partially offset by the increased capital expenditures – primarily, acquisition of domain names and capitalized development costs.