Canada markets open in 52 minutes
  • S&P/TSX

    +32.79 (+0.17%)
  • S&P 500

    -6.26 (-0.16%)
  • DOW

    -37.83 (-0.12%)

    +0.0003 (+0.05%)

    +0.86 (+1.17%)
  • Bitcoin CAD

    +1,900.05 (+5.19%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    +375.62 (+154.78%)

    -5.00 (-0.25%)
  • RUSSELL 2000

    -1.04 (-0.06%)
  • 10-Yr Bond

    +0.0110 (+0.31%)
  • NASDAQ futures

    +109.00 (+0.86%)

    -1.19 (-5.78%)
  • FTSE

    +66.38 (+0.89%)
  • NIKKEI 225

    +365.53 (+1.33%)

    +0.0002 (+0.03%)

Edited Transcript of PTEC.L earnings conference call or presentation 22-Sep-22 8:00am GMT

Half Year 2022 Playtech PLC Earnings Call Douglas Sep 22, 2022 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Playtech PLC earnings conference call or presentation Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 8:00:00am GMT TEXT version of Transcript ================================================================================ Corporate Participants ================================================================================ * Andrew James Smith Playtech plc - CFO & Executive Director * Moran Weizer Playtech plc - CEO & Executive Director ================================================================================ Conference Call Participants ================================================================================ * David Brohan Goodbody Stockbrokers UC, Research Division - Gaming and Leisure Analyst * James Christopher Corkey Wheatcroft Jefferies LLC, Research Division - Equity Analyst * Simon John Davies Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division - Head of UK Midcap & Online Gaming Research ================================================================================ Presentation -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moran Weizer, Playtech plc - CEO & Executive Director [1] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Good morning, everyone. First, obviously, I want to thank everyone who has been able to attend today for our first in-person results since before the pandemic. It's great to see so many familiar faces after all this time, really. Turning now to Slide 3. In terms of the results, I'm delighted to report our fantastic H1 results, which include a record level of revenues for Playtech and very strong adjusted EBITDA of EUR 204 million. The performance was driven by the Americas and Europe within the B2B division and Snaitech, which has evolved into a higher-margin, higher-quality business. For Snaitech, we are pleased to announce that we are setting a medium-term EBITDA target of EUR 300 million to EUR 350 million. I believe we have one of the best B2C management teams in the world, and I'm excited to work with them to expand this business in the future. For those who are able to attend, you'll hear a lot more from the brilliant Snaitech team on the opportunities ahead at the investor event we are holding a little later today. These results highlight the geographic diversification of the business, which will continue to drive the company going forward. We have a strong pipeline of opportunities that will continue our growth trajectory in the years to come. Playtech has transformed in recent years into a much higher quality business. And today, I will outline our strategy and how we plan to deliver shareholder value. Looking forward, I'll outline our strategy and explain how we expect to drive revenue growth and expand margins for both the B2B and B2C divisions. Turning to Slide 4. I will recap H1 before handing over to Andy to update you on the excellent financial performance in the first half of the year. I want to update you on the 5 strategic priorities for 2022 that we outlined at the full-year results back in March. We continue to consolidate our footprint in Latin America. Caliente in Mexico remains our #1 customer. We expect Wplay in Colombia to increasingly contribute to growth within the region. Finally, we are extremely excited about Brazil given the large addressable market size and our favorable position in the market, given our agreement with We are continuing to lay the foundations for our business in the U.S. and Canada by entering new states and adding new customers. We signed several new deals with operators, including WynnBET, Golden Nugget, Resorts, 888 and NorthStar amongst others. We migrated Parx off the platform of a key competitor in their home state of Pennsylvania in what was a very complex process, and this is something that we can and will leverage in future deals. Playtech is now licensed in 6 states in the U.S. and Ontario in Canada. Further applications are progressing in other U.S. states. We now have over 120 employees in the U.S., including the hiring of a talented Chief Commercial Officer. As I've said before, our investment in the U.S. won't be to the level of B2C operators but the size of this team in the U.S. is evidence of our confidence in the business we are building and the potential scale of the revenue and EBITDA opportunity that lies ahead. The Live Casino business has continued to see strong growth, and we are excited to have opened the life facility in Peru, which will allow us to take advantage of further growth opportunities within the LatAm region. We also added 50 new brands to our SaaS platform, bringing the total to over 300 since launching the offering. The Snaitech business continues to exceed our expectations, and it has maintained its #1 market share in Italy. It has transformed post-pandemic into a higher-margin and less capital-intensive business, given the acceleration to online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, we have made further progress on our sustainability success strategy to drive our ESG commitments. The public policy board committee set up last -- late last year has already met 5 times, and it ensures the right measures are in place to implement ambitious targets to meet our sustainability goals while we continue to grow the Playtech Protect offering. Finally, we are providing long-term assistance for Playtech employees and their families that have been affected by the Ukraine crisis. I will discuss the Ukraine situation further on the next slide. We have over 700 members of the Playtech family based in the Ukraine and the safety of our people and their families remains our biggest priority, and the group continues to provide support. Playtech responds to the crisis driven by its employees, included 24/7 support, including transportation, accommodation support for those displaced, supplies and shelter, logistical assistance and mental health and wellbeing support. On the business side, operations were minimally disrupted due to the robust business continuity processes in place. Any critical infrastructure in the Ukraine was relocated prior to the crisis as part of our risk management process. In addition, we are building a new development site in Poland that will act as an extension to the Kyiv site to ensure business continuity. Before handing over to Andy for a review of the financial performance, I just want to say, I'm incredibly proud of how our Playtech employees have responded throughout the crisis, and it's the times like this that make me proud of the family culture that we have at Playtech. I now hand over to Andy. Thank you. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Andrew James Smith, Playtech plc - CFO & Executive Director [2] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For those of you who think I'm in a bit nervous breakdown, finally, I'm going to (inaudible) buyback, so I apologize. Thanks, Mor. I'll start on Slide 7 with the financial highlights and what was the impressive performance in H1. Adjusted EBITDA came in at EUR 204 million with a very strong performance from both B2B and B2C. The B2B forms was driven primarily by regulated markets with the Americas and Europe in particular, seen impressive growth. Within the B2C segment, the online segment continues to show strength despite the retail -- reopening of the retail sites in Italy, the combination of which led to adjusted EBITDA growth of 143% in B2C. Cash generation was also very strong in the period, further strengthening our balance sheet. The strong cash generation will supplement a post period end by the proceeds from the Finalto sale with leverage now well below 1x. Looking forward, momentum has continued into H2 with both July and August seen very good growth. And whilst mindful of the economic risk, we feel confident for the remainder of the year. Moving on to Slide 8, I'll highlight the key figures in the half. Group revenues grew 73% compared to a COVID impacted H1 2021. This was driven by the B2B (sic) [B2C] division, which saw revenue growth of 148% and B2B Gambling where revenues grew 17%. Group adjusted EBITDA came in at GBP 204 million, with B2C growing 143% while B2B grew 7% in the period. Excluding Asia, the B2B -- exclude Asia, the B2B business saw adjusted EBITDA growth of 39% year-on-year, albeit that comparison is against a COVID period last year. Turning to Slide 9. Looking in more details within the B2B division. Total B2B Gambling revenue saw a growth of 17% and 13% on a constant currency basis in the half to EUR 312 million. This was 11% on an underlying basis, defined as being online-only and excluding Sports. The primary driver was in -- was within regulated markets, which grew 31%, where the Americas saw revenue growth of 50% and Europe was at 39%. The strong performance in the Americas was driven by Caliente and this business continues to outperform, where there were increasing contributions from other customers such as Wplay in Colombia. In Europe, a very strong start from the strategic agreement with Holland Casino in the newly regulated Netherlands market helps contribute to the stellar growth in the half, illustrating the significant growth opportunities of newly regulated markets. There's also strong growth seen in other markets, including Italy, Poland and Spain. The U.K. business saw revenue growth of 7% with the reopening of retail sites, partially offset by a slowdown in the online business caused by the uncertain regulatory climate. Unregulated markets, excluding Asia saw flat revenue growth versus H1 '21 with a good contribution from Brazil as that market prepares regulation, offset by Germany moving into the regulator segment. Turning to Slide 10. I will look at the performance of the Snaitech business compared to prior years. The details of the smaller components of our B2C division, I've added those in the appendix. This was an excellent performance by Snai in the first half and what is now a structurally different business post-pandemic. Snaitech saw revenue growth of 182% compared to the same period last year with EBITDA growth of 154%. While these growth rates have been distorted by the impacts of the pandemic in the period, I want to highlight a couple of points. First, as you can see, the online business remained broadly stable with revenue declined only 5% in H1 this year despite retail shops being opened for the whole of H1 this year. Secondly, adjusted EBITDA margin in H1 was significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, illustrating the structurally different business we now see where the high-margin online business makes a much greater proportion of Snaitech. Moving on to Slide 11. The cash disclosed on the balance sheet is EUR 681 million, but some of this, it includes client funds. Adjusting for this, the balance is reduced to EUR 556 million (sic) [EUR 545.6 million]. And then deducted on a further EUR 80 million that is needed for operation, this was with available cash on the balance sheet of EUR 466 million at the half year. This has been further enhanced post the half year, with net proceeds from the Finalto sale, part of which was used to repay the remaining balance of the RCF. Take note this into account, we have now an undrawn RCF and cash that we can deploy of EUR 517 million. Turning now to Slide 12, we will look at our balance sheet. As always, we take a prudent approach to our capital structure and leverage. Our balance sheet remains in a very strong position, supported by the strong cash generation in the half with adjusted operating cash flows of EUR 217 million. There was a further cash inflow post period end, as I've just mentioned, with the completion of the Finalto sale that we took, and really took the decision to repay the remaining balance on the RCF. I can also sell reduce leverage further with the net debt-to-EBITDA falling well below 1x, which gives us flexibility in managing the business going forward. Our EUR 530 million bond, which is maturing in October 2023, we've begun the refinancing process as well as looking to extend our RCF. Finally, license results, we talked about the significant increase in fair value of the options related to our strategic agreements in LatAm, and we've seen a small increase in the valuation of these. Finally, on Slide 13, I will discuss current trading outlook. We've seen a strong start to H2 '22 with the business continuing its momentum from the first half of the year. The performance continues to be driven by both our B2B and B2C businesses. And looking to the rest of the year, we expect momentum in both B2B and B2C to continue. While the business continues to perform very, very well, we'll remain mindful that the macroeconomic outlook remains uncertain, particularly given rising interest rates and inflationary pressures as well as the risk of further disruption and some war in the Ukraine continues. Overall, however, taking into account the strong start to the -- start full this H1 and the momentum into H2, the Board is confident of Playtech's prospects through the remainder of the year and well beyond. And with that, I'll hand over to Mor. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moran Weizer, Playtech plc - CEO & Executive Director [3] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks, Andy. Moving on to Slide 15. I'd like to lay out our strategy for both the B2B and B2C divisions that will help to deliver revenue growth and expand margins. Starting with B2B, we outlined 3 objectives. Firstly, we want to extend our lead in regulated markets. Secondly, we have made significant investments across attractive parts of the business, namely Live Casino, SaaS and managed services. It's time to harvest this to drive revenue growth with good operating leverage. And finally, we want to concentrate on the B2B business, driving efficiencies, the benefits of which we can utilize across other parts of the company. For B2C, we want to capitalize on the market leadership position that Snaitech enjoys in Italy and drive further organic revenue and EBITDA growth. It's no secret that HappyBet has been underperforming. Having now moved the operations to reside under the Snaitech management team, we expect to see the business improve going forward. Given the flexibility of our balance sheet and potentially attractive opportunities both within Italy and the rest of Europe, we would consider targeted M&A to expand Snaitech and leverage the B2C expertise that we have running that business. And we expect all of these to be achieved within a sustainability framework that we'll discuss in more detail later on this presentation. On Slide 16, I add a bit more color around our B2B medium-term strategic objectives. So extending our lead in regulated markets, the main driver of the next chapter in our growth story will be the Americas alongside Europe. We have been laying the foundations across both regions, which are starting to bear fruit and I'm excited to talk you through this in more detail over the coming slides. On the product side, our primary focus will continue to be online casino and live supported by IMS while Sports will play a key role in selected strategic deals. As we noted on the previous slide, we want to monetize the significant investments made within live, SaaS and managed services. Finally, we are currently undertaking a thorough review of the B2B business, where we are looking to identify inefficiencies under the 4 underperforming business units, eliminate duplication and only focus on areas that are truly strategic to the business. This will be done with a view to reallocating resources and targeted investments to help us achieve the first objective of extending our lead in regulated markets while ensuring the appropriate cost base. On to Slide 17, where I will talk through our strategy for the U.S., where we have been laying the foundations for future growth. We estimate that the total market opportunity in the U.S. is around $3 billion of annual revenue for B2B players. This figure excludes what could be generated through structured agreements. We see opportunities across all our products, but our focus will be on key strengths in online casino and live while we will also pursue sports betting opportunities in key strategic deals. We are confident that it is early days in the U.S., particularly as it relates to iGaming. 30 states have legalized sports betting so far compared to only 7 for iGaming. The revenues from sports betting activities are roughly the same as iGaming, however, the tax revenue generated from iGaming in just these 7 states is nearly double that of the tax revenue generated from sports betting in 30 states. This is ideal for Playtech as iGaming is 1 of the company's biggest strength and have been putting in place the foundations in the U.S. to ensure we can benefit when further states legalize iGaming. We have signed multiple multistate deals with key operators, and we will continue to sign more. That's not to say we will ignore sports betting because we simply won't. We see sports betting as strategically important for key partners in the U.S. who want a comprehensive offering from a single provider. Now on Slide 18. Moving on to LatAm, where we have previously talked about how our success in this region is based on delivering on our structured agreements. The blueprint for the structured agreements is Caliente in Mexico. The idea is to select a dominant partner in a country with favorable market dynamics and look to grow with that partner as the market grows. The results with aligned incentives can be spectacular. Revenues within Mexico, the majority of which is with Caliente, have grown at a CAGR of 72% between 2015 and 2021. And Caliente now represents our largest customer measured by revenues. We expect growth to continue in the years ahead, although clearly, the growth rates on this slide won't be realistic going forward given the scale of the business. The attractive economics of a structured agreement, which typically includes both revenue share and an additional service fee component means that the incremental profit margins are very high. These structured agreements typically include an option to convert the service fee component into equity, thus achieving additional flexibility to crystallize value, particularly in the event of a corporate transaction. On Slide 19, we highlight the other countries in LatAm, where we have other structured agreements and also some figures to highlight the potential size of the opportunity in the region. Revenues from Wplay in Colombia have been accelerating since its migration to Playtech technology in late 2020, and we expect this business will be a significant contributor to our revenues going forward. We are extremely excited about the Brazilian market, given the huge addressable market in the sports med country and the structured agreement we have signed with As with the others, the agreement includes the customer software license agreement as well as an option over a significant noncontrolling equity stake in the operation. Our structured agreement with Tenlot the Red Cross brings exclusivity in Costa Rica, and we are operating under the only license available there. During 2021, we launched in Costa Rica and also launched our structured agreement in Panama with Onjoc under the brand Betcha. Looking ahead, we are focused on executing these opportunities to drive growth in the region and see further potential opportunities in Chile and Peru. We view Europe as a region that still contains several markets that are either regulating or underpenetrated where Playtech can take full advantage. I'd like to talk you through an example of a newly regulated market that excites us where Playtech is well positioned, the Netherlands. The Netherlands, a top 10 market in Europe, launched its online market at the end of 2021. Holland Casino is the state-owned operator there with 14 casinos across the country. To coincide with the online market opening up, we launched our exciting new strategic agreement with Holland Casino in the race for market share in the Netherlands. We are providing a full turnkey offering, including our IMS platform, all products and services, such as marketing advice and CRM services. And we are off to an impressive start. Holland Casino was the biggest driver of growth by customer in H1, surpassing our internal expectations. With a 20-year agreement for our software as well as a 10-year agreement for services in place, this is just the start of a long and prosperous relationship. Over the next 2 slides, we give further detail on how we intend to monetize the significant investments we have already made, particularly in Live Casino and SaaS. I'll start with Live Casino. As you are familiar with, Live Casino is an extremely attractive vertical that we expect to continue to grow significantly over the coming years. This is driven by 2 major trends. Firstly, there is a shift to online from retail as the world digitizes, and this is accelerated due to the pandemic. Secondly, within online, there is a growing trend away from RNG towards live as players want more than interactive, immersive experience which we expect to accelerate driven by technological advances and new products. The combination of these drivers means that industry analysts predict the Live Casino market to reach $18 billion based on GGR by 2025, up from $6.9 billion in 2021, a CAGR of 28%. And we are seeing strong growth within regulated markets such as the U.K. and Spain. But more importantly, we are well positioned in extremely attractive regulated markets like Brazil and the U.S. And we have already made significant investments to capitalize on this attractive product vertical. We have 10 studios currently operational with a further 1 in Pennsylvania under construction. The latest 1 to open is in Peru, which was launched earlier this year and will help us to support growth within the attractive LatAm region and particularly Brazil. We have more than doubled the number of tables over the past 4 years. We have invested heavily in the latest cutting-edge technology. We have invested in buying branded gaming rights such as Jumanji. And these investments have already been made. Also, I remind you that the nature of Live Casino business, the model is such that additional players can be added to tables at minimal cost. This means there is a significant operating leverage and leads to Live Casino being margin accretive to the overall B2B division. Turning to Slide 22. You will recognize the pyramid that I've used previously to illustrate our go-to-market strategy and how we empower B2C companies around the world. This shows how the various business models of Playtech address the needs of any type of operator across the world. I want to focus on the bottom of the pyramid and the SaaS platform, which we soft launched in 2019. And since then, the success has far surpassed our expectations. We see SaaS as helping to serve two purposes. Firstly, there are many operators across the world with a comprehensive strategic agreement or conventional license does not make economic sense given implementation costs. We can address this by offering a plug-and-play type SaaS model where operators can easily access our platform and products under the same commercial model with limited implementation costs. This significantly expands our addressable market. Secondly, the SaaS model is not only targeted at small, midsized operators. It is also used to provide a low-friction method of exposing as many operators as possible to the Playtech technology. Once a foot in the door is achieved, it can be much easier to cross and upsell to other Playtech products. For customers, this offering means much lower overhead costs given IT infrastructure costs are borne by Playtech. And implementation and customization time is reduced, also reducing costs for the customer. From Playtech's perspective, SaaS is an attractive business model. Given the investment has already been made, there is high operating leverage, which ensures this is a very high-margin segment driven by a very diversified set of operators of different types in different countries. Playtech has been building out the infrastructure for its SaaS business since 2017, including data centers in local markets. And it has added over 300 brands since launching the SaaS platform. While revenue from the SaaS business has been growing strongly, the revenues from each operator represents a very small proportion of their wallet, thus, there is ample scope to increase wallet share amongst these existing customers. Given the high operating leverage and investments already made, this will be margin accretive and drive higher return on capital employed. Moving to Slide 23, where we outline our medium-term strategic priorities for the B2C division: drive further organic growth at Snaitech, execute HappyBet strategy, targeted M&A to expand Snaitech. Given that we have the investor events straight after this presentation, I don't want to steal Fabio and the team's thunder. So I'll just briefly touch upon the key few points. Italy is 1 of 2 largest gambling markets in Europe, and we have a gem of a business to take advantage of this significant opportunity as we look to extend our leader. We've talked in the past prior to the pandemic about the hugely underpenetrated online segment in Italy. And you could see it in Snaitech's numbers. In H1 2019, online represented only 25% of Snaitech EBITDA and only 12% on a revenue basis. Fast forward to today, and those percentages are remarkably different. At the EBITDA level, it's over 50%. And on a revenue basis, it's 26% in H1 2022. While there was an ongoing shift to online prior to the pandemic, this has been hugely accelerated as a result of COVID-19. And the result is a fundamentally sounder business. Snaitech is not only a higher-margin business, but also a less capital-intensive one. And what's more is that online penetration in Italy is still only around 25% with the mature U.K. market having online penetration north of 50% that is anteroom for the higher-margin, less capital-intensive online business to continue to grow in the years ahead. With Snaitech's strong brand and leading online offering, it is ideally positioned to capture this opportunity. I'd also like to take this opportunity to highlight the strength of Fabio and the rest of the management team to transform the Snaitech business post-pandemic into a much higher quality business in such a short space of time is remarkable. You'll get to hear much more about Snaitech and the rest of the B2C division at the investor event that follows straight after the conclusion of this presentation, including how they will achieve their new medium-term EBITDA target of EUR 300 million and EUR 350 million. 4 years ago, by the way, it was EUR 180 million. Now turning to Slide 25. We continue to deliver on our sustainable success commitments and aim to continue leading our industry when it comes to ESG. Starting with governance. Last year, we created a sustainability and public policy committee, tasked with providing challenge and oversight on sustainability matters at the Board level. This committee has already met 5 times so far in 2022. With regards to diversity, equity and inclusion, we introduced new targets for senior management at the end of 2021, and we continue to accelerate progress on gender diversity in leadership levels of the organization. On the environment, we are committed to the science-based target initiative to set both near-term and net-0 target. We have also strengthened data disclosure reporting and the approach to carbon reduction through an environmental working group. On safer gambling, we have expanded Playtech Protect while also publishing research papers on state limits, gambling digital tools, and tools and strategies used by players to manage their gambling. Finally, as discussed at the beginning of the presentation, we are providing long-term assistance for Playtech employees and their families that have been affected by the Ukraine crisis. I want to make it very, very clear that I don't see sustainability as a box-ticking exercise. For our industry to continue to thrive, it is vitally important that all stakeholders make a concerted effort to operate in a sustainable manner. On Slide 26, I want to quickly recap the highlights from today. We had a record level of revenues in H1, which drove adjusted EBITDA of EUR 204 million. The results highlight the geographic diversification of our business. This, combined with a strong pipeline will continue to drive top and bottom line growth for the group in the years to come. We have a flexible approach with different business models, which mean our B2B business can serve any operator in the world. In Snaitech, we have an amazing company with one of the leading B2C management teams in the world, and we will continue to grow this business towards its medium-term EBITDA target of EUR 300 million to EUR 350 million. And finally, I want to remind you of 2 investor events where we get to highlight the multitude of growth opportunities that exist across Playtech. You won't have to wait too long for the first one. The Snaitech management team will showcase the strategy and incredible growth potential of the business straight after this presentation. The second investor event has been provisionally scheduled for December 1, where the focus will be on the B2B segment, where we will focus on the growth opportunities in the Americas, Europe and Live Casino. Thank you very much. Andy and I will now take any questions. Thank you. ================================================================================ Questions and Answers -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- James Christopher Corkey Wheatcroft, Jefferies LLC, Research Division - Equity Analyst [1] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- James Wheatcroft from Jefferies, here two if I may, please. Firstly, can we have an update on sort of capital allocation? You're obviously running quite leverage at the moment, so just to give us an idea around the priorities, you talk about M&A, the cash returns, et cetera. And secondly, just in terms of the statement, the medium, obviously, a question for the Chairman. You talked about realizing shareholder value. I wonder whether you could give us an update on how that's progressing, please? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Andrew James Smith, Playtech plc - CFO & Executive Director [2] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I'll take the capital allocation one, I'll give you a bit to think about yours. It's okay? So in terms of -- as you point out, I mean, (inaudible) with leverage. And actually, if you look back to when we're in the middle of the year, the pandemic, I mean I think everyone's leverage got a bit higher, ours it was about 2x. And I've got (inaudible) those are in the targets of 1x to 1.5x towards a sensible level below, see it got down below 1x. It wants very satisfied. It shows cash generation come through the business. The first priority is we need to refinance our bond. Clearly, we've got cash available. So we wanted you to take on the same size as before, which is nice. Once we got that out of the way, and I think once we see the business continue to perform strongly, then we can obviously think about the allocation of capital, be it maybe investments in the business and it may also be shareholder returns as well. I think we've probably got a (inaudible) able to play with. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moran Weizer, Playtech plc - CEO & Executive Director [3] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay. I mean, yes we committed, I think during the period of the bids that if it fall away that we would do anything we could to ensure the value creation was actually realized. And we're still committed to that. We have investigated every opportunity that there is to create value. And we did look and we'll still look and review the opportunities for Snai. As you've seen, the actual trading and the growth of Snai means we're under absolutely no pressure to actually realize the value there, but we will continue always to appraise what is available. And if there is an opportunity to realize that value and to be able to give shareholders that value back, then we will do so. So we're still committing as a Board to look at realizing value. At this moment in time, we don't think the market is right, and we are under absolutely no pressure to do anything to try and give that value back at the moment. You're getting -- the company is in rude health. It is trading exceptionally well. All divisions are great. You're looking at a business which has got a really good robust future. And therefore, I think returning value -- we can return value to you by just ensuring our trading continues to be at the level it is now and growing. I don't know if that helps. Dave? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- David Brohan, Goodbody Stockbrokers UC, Research Division - Gaming and Leisure Analyst [4] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- David Brohan, Goodbody. Just one question, it's around the U.S. that kind of B2B opportunity of $3 billion that you referenced. Can you give any kind of color in terms of split between Sports and Casino in that population coverage, number of states, et cetera? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Andrew James Smith, Playtech plc - CFO & Executive Director [5] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You mean in terms of -- like 3, 5-year... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- David Brohan, Goodbody Stockbrokers UC, Research Division - Gaming and Leisure Analyst [6] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Not, just in terms of assumptions... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Andrew James Smith, Playtech plc - CFO & Executive Director [7] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I mean well, I'll get into the finance numbers, Mor wants to give some color after that. I mean I think -- clearly I'm going to give any targets at this stage, but I think everyone will be pretty disappointed if we were did run on a revenue basis, (inaudible). And on an EBITDA basis, obviously (inaudible) frankly, on a medium- to longer-term view. I think it's across the board. I mean -- I wouldn't want to be too exclusive obviously, because it could come from many angle because not from the software. I think live is probably be the single biggest because I think it's -- we're got a fantastic opportunity and obviously we won't (inaudible). That said, it's going to exceed -- the rest of the casinos are going to be very strong. Sports is also going to be huge. Also, the IMS, some of the IMS could be very, very strong as well. So actually, it's nice to have many different levers to pull. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moran Weizer, Playtech plc - CEO & Executive Director [8] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. If I may, just kind of a snapshot of where the market is. So it took the market -- the market was regulated sometime in the beginning of 2011, started in New Jersey, and it took it 8 years probably to get to EUR 850 million, right? You fast forward 2019 -- when fast forward appeal to 2022 -- or 2021 even, it's a $10 billion market. So obviously, $10 billion market within 3 years after 8 years in New Jersey, that was well -- the operator generated less than $1 billion. And it just outlines the opportunity, but add on top of that the fact that the $10 billion market that we currently see in the U.S. is half sports betting and half iGaming. If you further dwell into that, the $5 billion from sports betting is driven by -- in 30 states, versus the fact of 6 states in iGaming because Nevada only offers Poke which is a very, very small business compared to other iGaming -- compared to iGaming revenues generated as well. When you then think about the taxes I indicated earlier, if you look at the tax generated for the states in 2021, again, 30 states generated $5 billion and generated 5 -- approximately just below $500 million of tax revenues. At the same time, 6 or 7 iGaming states, 1 that does not include the casino, contributed or generated $5 billion of revenues and $1 billion -- or approximately $1 billion in taxes. So when you think about where the market is headed, 36 versus 5 -- versus 7 states, you fast forward 3 to 5 as the $3 billion opportunity, something that we outlined in previous presentations, I think that it's also included in the appendix where we calculate the majority of which as far as we are concerned and the way we think about it is medium, longer term -- it's based on medium, longer term. The market is expected to grow from $10 billion to $40 billion, some will say $65 billion. If you look at the window presentation, for example. So obviously, when we think about the U.S., we think about a massive opportunity. We see evidence. We see in the data, we have evidence to showcase that the tax revenue generator should act as a or should be an incentive for further states to regulate. And we see that the activity will predominantly be driven by Casino and Live Casino, which is where we excel. We also have evidence, and this is extremely important with the customers that we have currently in the U.S. that the content that Playtech has in the U.S. is as popular as the rest is outside -- the popularity outside of the U.S. As a matter of fact, actually, it's even better. So we know that we have the right product. We invested into 2 Live Casino facilities in Michigan and New Jersey. As I indicated earlier, we laid a foundation for a third one in Pennsylvania. New Jersey just changed its attitude towards Live Casino and will allow streaming the Live Casino activity from New Jersey across the U.S. and outside, which is quite unique and quite new for us as an industry. And obviously, it's headed in the right direction, as I said, we lay the foundation and the opportunity is a massive opportunity for us. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Andrew James Smith, Playtech plc - CFO & Executive Director [9] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One thing I would just add, by the way, is so obviously, I gave just a pure B2B opportunity, it's how I expect it go. There's obviously always a possibility that we do something on a more structural level. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moran Weizer, Playtech plc - CEO & Executive Director [10] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Simon? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Simon John Davies, Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division - Head of UK Midcap & Online Gaming Research [11] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Simon Davies from Deutsche. Three from me, please. Firstly, can you give a bit more color on what you're seeing in the U.K. market? You talked about 7% growth in the first half. I presume a lot of that is down to the reopening of retail. So what trends are you seeing in online? And are you seeing signs of stabilization after that ramp-up in affordability checks? Second was just on live. Are you gaining market share in the Live Casino market? Can you talk a bit about table numbers and your target for the year-end? And are you seeing any evidence of a tougher competition on pricing in the live market? And lastly, you alluded to M&A opportunities possibly in the B2C space through Snaitech. What kind of criteria are you looking at? What kind of size deal might we see there? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moran Weizer, Playtech plc - CEO & Executive Director [12] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You take the first one, I can talk -- you take the first one. You talk on the numbers, and I'll take the rest. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Andrew James Smith, Playtech plc - CFO & Executive Director [13] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay. I'll tell -- I'll do a bit of live as well in the numbers -- I like to all of them. So in terms of the U.K., if we just go back a little bit. Firstly, the last couple of years, our U.K. there was big (inaudible) as you know because that's dropped down. So that's why we put the numbers separately. I mean, as you know, I do feel like a broken record on this outside defense. But it's -- relatively better for the U.K. market. And obviously, our strategy beats that whilst in the case of the important market and it generates lot of cash, it is not going to be the growth driver going forward. So frankly, while it gains a lot of attention at the media level for us as a business, frankly, whether our UK business was at plus 5% or minus 5%, it doesn't really make that much of a difference. It just get people excited. It is what we -- that's (inaudible) Simon. That's not a real number. The real number is probably negative. It's difficult to sort of strip it down and normalize it. But if you -- I think there's no doubt about it, if you look at the results of all the B2C guys who, obviously, I would love to reflect their numbers, they're finding it tough at the moment. So I don't think I want to comment to the extent that it's stabilized. I've always been bearish. So I've not quite there yet on a more bullish (inaudible). Do you want to do that and I will do live? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moran Weizer, Playtech plc - CEO & Executive Director [14] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I only just want to basically refer to what some of the operators refer to. I think that the decline or the pressure on the U.K. market is driven by the expected regulatory changes. And it's driven by the fact that operators voluntarily took actions and implemented certain policies internally to do with affordability and state limits ahead of the gaming review, and the outcome of the gambling review. So this is obviously a factor that had their impact on the operators. The second is obviously the natural shifts back to online. The U.K. was already a very mature market when the pandemic erupted. It was -- the online penetration was already 50%. I mixed it 50% and 60%. During the pandemic, it was more than 60%, which is not as natural. And therefore, it went back soon after the pandemic or in recent months from 60% penetration to 50% penetration as people went back to retail, and this had an effect on the U.K. market. I do believe that going forward, the U.K. has an opportunity to continue to grow, albeit from the base we see now on a lower base on the back of the regulatory changes, the expected regulatory changes. But still that after they will implement all their policies and after the gaming review will be introduced, and they will implement all the policies necessary to comply with that, we will see further growth in the U.S. -- in the U.K., and the U.K. remains very, very important for the industry altogether. And it is important to remind everyone that because it almost acted as a beacon for many, many regulators worldwide that looked at what happens in the U.K. and U.K. operators did very, very well in the U.K. Our experience, by the way, after the taxes were introduced. And before that, when there were changes to the (inaudible) and when the owner regulations were introduced, there was an impact on the market, but then it continued -- it actually resumed growth from a lower base. And we expect it to be the case, I mean, now as well. Yes. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Andrew James Smith, Playtech plc - CFO & Executive Director [15] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- On live, I think there's a broader point. So I think the suggest I think we are taking market share. However, to be honest, (inaudible) become never uses Evo and then it remains very strong. What I would say, however, is that far and for most then (inaudible) in live is the quality of that growth. So if you look at our growth this year, it's not of -- it is really good to be from Asia. But Asia has gone very slightly backwards, broadly flat. However -- and so there's only -- with the exception of 1 market, which I'll talk about in a second, every bit of that is very high-quality regulated. It's across Europe. It's as (inaudible) mentioned, obviously, the America expects, and that's the key point, it's quality. There's only 1 country that's really driving live that is unregulated at the moment, and that's Brazil. But obviously, I think that's a pretty exciting regulated market. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moran Weizer, Playtech plc - CEO & Executive Director [16] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. On pricing and on market share. I'll start with pricing. We don't see any pricing pressure. And there's a matter of fact, in newly regulated markets, including the U.S. and Canada, we see people do understand the importance of Live Casino and therefore, are happy to pay handsomely to position themselves as best as possible in order to gain market share because they understand that negotiating the last basis point on live will not achieve the goal of gaining market share and having the right products or the best products when -- as they penetrate the market. So, so far, we haven't seen any pricing pressure. We don't expect it to be the case. I remind everyone, this vertical is very, very concentrated when it comes to the number of suppliers. You have Evolution, you have Playtech, you have Playtech and then Evolution and you have the Pragmatic Play and 1 or 2 smaller providers, but the number of choices are very, very limited. Pragmatic currently, as far as I know, does not exist in the U.S. So in the U.S., it's actually Playtech and Evolution and people do want to have a wide variety of choices for their customer and it makes sense for them not to negotiate the price, but achieve basically us and Evolution as his competitors. So the pricing is pretty much similar. And therefore, I don't see any one of us trying to do the price just to basically because everyone will want both and everyone, us, Evolution and other companies do realize that operators will want the wide variety of choices and therefore, we'll probably take both products regardless. On market share, guys, I think that it's about time we say it. When you compare us to other companies, right, given where the industry is, we need to look at the data and actually measure apple-to-apple, right -- apples to apples. It's not the case with Evolution and other competitors of Playtech. I will argue that in regulated markets, we take market share off of them and the other competitors we have. The reality of which we decided not to operate with illegal operators, i.e., operators without a license in Italy, without a license in France that operate casino in France, without a license in Spain that operate in Spain. Our focus is on regulated markets and legal or operators that are low abiding citizens of the country they reside in and obtain a license that operate. Not to mention the fact that there was a note on 1 of our competitors, suggesting that they operate in sanction countries, which is something that is totally illegal. When you look -- and I'm not here to tarnish anyone's -- and by the way, we have evidence of that ourselves because we looked at that after we were shocked by this report and we looked at it ourselves. But if you look at the -- on an apple-to-apple basis, you will clearly see that Playtech is taking market share, and we have the largest market share in Spain, and we are as big as others in the U.K. and we are as big, if not bigger in Brazil. And we expect this case to continue, and we expect this trend to continue because we believe that we have a product, we will claim even better, but I can guarantee you not is a product that is as good as the others, probably better. On M&A, you want to take? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Andrew James Smith, Playtech plc - CFO & Executive Director [17] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This specifically in relation to Italy, you mentioned in general -- generally. I mean our approach to M&A has never changed. It's -- we have very tough criteria, but it's also quite optimistic. And if you look at our record over the years, we've always done -- let's call it bolt-on ones, call it EUR 25 million to EUR 50 million or less. But if you look at the quick speeds in this world, they dropped in very, very nicely. In terms of anything, let's call it, the more the mid-range, let's call it the (inaudible) very nicely to that. And then potentially there's even bigger ones. But I think it's -- we would look to do M&A potential, it could be geographically, for geographical reason. It could potentially be to for products or content. I mean it could even -- we wouldn't go to B2C again potentially -- but as we obviously do, it has to be a very, very, very compelling reason to do so. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moran Weizer, Playtech plc - CEO & Executive Director [18] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. I just want to add one comment here. Just as a reminder for everyone, we completed the acquisition of Snai late 2018. 2019 was a year of integration. It was the largest -- by far, the largest acquisition for Playtech, EUR 850-plus million. We integrated it was B2C in Italy. We had to integrate it, create synergies, work together, and we were very much focused on that in 2019. I do remind everyone we lost 2020 and half of 2021 because of the pandemic. We were in survival mode, and the guys did an amazing job transforming this business from a retail-driven business to an online-driven business, as you will clearly see in the presentation that follows this one. Throughout this period, it was -- it generated a lot of cash alongside the cash we generated from B2B, and we continue to reduce the net debt-to-EBITDA to below 1x. I think that for the first time, we can sit here constantly and say, we completed the integration, Playtech has been an acquisitive company before, we are not going to be on an acquisition spree going forward. But for the first time after the pandemic. And after we ended, I remind everyone, in the last 6 months, it was not only just coming out of the pandemic stronger than ever. We have 750 employees in the Ukraine. I got a call in the beginning of the year, and we couldn't find some of our employees. So we developed software to track our employees so they can check in every day. So we can -- we know that they are safe, and we can cater for their needs. And only now in the recent months, we sat down, we had a strategy session with the management team a couple of weeks ago. We are going to have one with the Board. I think that for the first time after the integration year, pandemic, war in the Ukraine, we are in a position to say, we're in a fantastic position in terms of the balance sheet, and we are ready to take Playtech to the next chapter, and we have the means to do that and very focused on that. We can do that in B2C. We can do that in B2B. This is not to say people should not leave the room here today with the idea that Playtech is now going on an acquisition spree, going to increase their debt simply to buy businesses, it's not the case. We use the word targeted M&A, needs to fit the strategy of Playtech. It needs to fit the strategy of B2C as well as B2B. But we feel that we are in a comfortable position to seriously consider that at this point in time. And it gives a lot of potential, it can create a lot of value for Playtech in both its verticals, B2B and B2C. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Unidentified Company Representative, [19] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Maybe we need to stop there. So everyone can ask your question. There'll be more opportunities to (inaudible) later even for Mor and Andy, if you have more questions for them. And there will be time for networking now. And there's coffee upstairs on the second floor and then we'll start back here at 10:30, we'll then sign back then. Thanks.