It has been a pretty good year for Sweden’s Government operated gaming service Svenska Spel so far. The company has announced that its profits in the first half of this year have increased by 4.2 per cent year on year.
The monetary value of Svenska Spel’s first half profits totalled KR2.522 billion (around US$388.9 million). Many of those gains came as a result of increased activity in the company sports and lotteries division, while gaming profits also increased in the first half.
Svenska Spel President Lennart Kall said the increases in profits was a solid sign of the Swedish public’s faith in them as a premier provider of gaming services in the northern European country.
“Despite a record number of stateless bookmakers in the Swedish market, which market themselves aggressively, we are still strong in the market,” he said. “Our growth is for products that have both lower risk and better margins, which means that we improved our operating margin and earnings for the first six months compared with the same period last year.”
“We have achieved our best-ever operating profit with a profit margin that is in line with the owner’s target. This increase is primarily the result of strong sales of lottery tickets, number games and sports bets, both through our agents and online.”
Although Svenska Spel’s first half net gaming revenues increased by only 0.1 per cent year-on-year, its overall operating profit increased by 3.7 per cent to around US$382.4 million. That forms the overwhelming majority of the total profit made by the Swedish company in the first half of 2013.
Despite the company’s profit increases, the strength of its online poker services is questionable. In the beginning of May, Svenska Spel’s online poker service had an average of 730 players over seven days, according to PokerScout. That made it the twelfth largest online poker operator in terms of player traffic.
Current PokerScout figures put Svenska Spel down to fourteenth, with an average of 570 players on the site over seven days, a decrease of over 20 per cent. The decrease may just be a result of seasonal factors, however, as it is currently summer in Sweden.