In its Year-end Report for January-December 2021, Evolution said Wednesday its revenues in the fourth quarter increased by 69% to EUR 300 million, while the EBITDA increased to EUR 207 million, with a margin of 68.9%. This growth continued to be driven by strong global demand for Live Casino, but also positively impacted by the increased revenue from the RNG business.
Live Casino revenue continued on a high level and increased by 48.6% year-on-year, also showing positive comparison levels versus pre-pandemic growth rates. RNG revenue was slightly above expectations and increased by 9% compared to the pro-forma figures of Q4 2020.
Martin Carlesund, Evolution's CEO, said the company seeks to deliver stronger growth in RNG during 2022 compared to 2021, though he expects the growth rate to vary through the coming quarters. This upward trend would be backed by new games and its one-stop-shop (OSS) solution, which allows operators to access its games through one integration.
In 2022, Evolution plans to continue to invest "heavily" in expanding existing studios, in building new studios and in game innovation. For full-year 2022, it expects the EBITDA margin to be in the 69%-71% range.
"Towards the end of the quarter, a dubious, anonymous and falsified report with the clear intention to harm Evolution was published," Carlesund stated. In November, Bloomberg reported that private investigators, retained by a U.S.-based competitor of Evolution, had also recorded themselves playing games through internet addresses in Singapore and Hong Kong, where online betting is banned. At the time, Evolution denied the allegation and said at the time it strictly complied with all laws and regulations. "We have over 15 years’ experience of operations in regulated environments and we are comfortable and confident in our ways of working, our business model as well as in our constant strive to improve in all areas. Evolution is a content provider and we only supply to licensed customers. With the ambition to be even better we will continue to work on all processes in relation to due diligence of our customers and their licensing and regulatory framework. The measures we have taken during the quarter have had insignificant financial effect," the CEO stated on Wednesday.
Furthermore, Evolution said the "strong demand" for online casino across the globe continued in the fourth quarter. By the end of 2021, the company had over 1,000 live tables, an increase of over 300 tables during the year, the largest increase in a single year.
As the North American online casino market continues to develop rapidly, Evolution's next new studio to be launched will be Connecticut in 2022. In the quarter, the company also strengthened its position in Canada by signing with the provincial lottery and gaming agency, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).