Publishing its Q4 trading update, Kindred Group detailed its ts strongest year to date’, although noting that hurdles in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and Dutch regulation had caused some difficulties.

Speaking to Kindred’s Investor Relations Manager Linda Lyth, Group CEO Henrik Tjärnström and Patrick Kortman, Head of Corporate Development & Investor Relations, discussed the opportunities and challenges of 2021 and looked ahead to the coming 10 months. 

Acknowledging headwinds in the fourth quarter as well as ‘tough comparatives’ from the fourth quarter of 2020, Tjärnström maintained that Kindred’s trading performance during the last three months of 2021 was strong and positive. 

Overall, Kindred’s group revenue increased by 11% on the Q4 2020 figure (£1.130bn) to £1.259 billion, albeit with an underlying EBITDA decline of 77% to £27.6 million (Q42020: £118m).

“We did not have any activity from the Dutch market, that made Q4 quite challenging, but there was still strong underlying development,” the CEO remarked. 

Although the group is currently inactive in the newly regulated Netherlands’ online gambling market, it hopes to secure its position there during the first half of this year, thereby boosting its percentage of revenues from regulated markets. 

Moving forward, one of the biggest developments of the fourth quarter for Kindred was its acquisition of Relax Gaming, completed in October – having first secured the remaining 66.6% of the firm’s shares in June. 

Identifying a desire for greater focus on product and customer experience building on the takeover of Relax, Kindred now has a wider B2C and B2B portfolio following the acquisition. 

Tjärnström remarked: “IT’s a fast growing B2B leader in their market and they are a good compliment to Kindred, both as a Group with a B2C and B2B arm but also for us in the B2C side to have a market leading supplier that can actually create differentiation in the product and CEX area, which will really create differentiation for Kindred brands as well. 

“The US is a great opportunity as well for Relax, where they have not been historically and we need more content from the B2C side and Relax has a great opportunity to become one of the leading aggregators in the North American market.”

Kortman, meanwhile, observed that the acquisition of Relax would play a key role in Kindred’s wider strategic ambitions, particularly in relation to diversification of its products. 

He added: “The product portfolio gives us control for casino, poker and bingo, and that is the very core of our strategic ambition to transform Kindred to a product and customer experience company.”

Kindred looks ahead to 2022 as Dutch headwinds offset in Q4 trading