MTG returns to organic growth, delivers record profitability and increases margin outlook for 2023

MTG returns to organic growth, delivers record profitability and increases margin outlook for 2023

October 25, 2023
07.30 CEST
We are well on track to deliver on our full-year revenue outlook. Q3 revenues were up 6% year over year to SEK 1,494 million. Sales were up 1% year over year and up 2% from Q2 in constant currencies. Total user acquisition (UA) spend amounted to 37% of revenues in Q3. The group delivered record-breaking quarterly adjusted EBITDA of SEK 449 million in Q3, with a strong margin of 30%. We are increasing the outlook for our full-year adjusted EBITDA margin on the back of this strong performance and now expect the margin to be between 25% and 27% for the year. We are also very excited about our acquisition of a majority stake in Snowprint Studios after the end of the quarter.

Financial highlights Q3, continuing operations

  • Net sales increased by 6% year over year to SEK 1,494 (1,412) million. Sales were up by 1% year over year in constant currencies, and up 2% quarter over quarter
  • UA spend of SEK 554 (499) million corresponding to 37% (35%) of revenues
  • Adjusted EBITDA of SEK 449 (374) million with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 30% (27%)
  • Reported EBITDA of SEK 429 (325) million and EBIT of SEK 283 (193) million
  • Net financial items amounted to SEK 10 (304) million of which net interest amounted to SEK 44 (21) million and other financial items amounted to SEK -33 (283) million including discounted interest on earnouts of SEK -52 million, gain and loss from financial assets and liabilities of SEK -24 million, unrealized and realized exchange rate differences of SEK 45 million and other items totaling SEK -2 million
  • Total net income of SEK 194 (336) million and total basic earnings per share of SEK 1.55 (2.75)
  • Cash flow from operations in the quarter of SEK 444 (291) million including a realized currency exchange gain amounting to SEK 91 million and cash conversion of 69% in Q3 and 52% for the last 12 months (October 2022 to September 2023)
  • Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period amounted to SEK 3,989 (4,695) million. In addition, the group has SEK 123 million in long-term bank deposits
  • Maintained full year revenue outlook. We continue to expect sales within the range of -3% to +2%, adjusted for currency effects. We upgrade our adjusted EBITDA margin target for the year to a range of 25% to 27% (2023 outlook excludes contribution from Snowprint Studios)
  • Acquired 70% majority stake in Snowprint Studios after the end of the quarter

Financial overview

(SEKm) Q3 2023 Q3 2022 9M 2023 9M2022 FY 2022
Continuing operations
Net sales 1,494 1,412 4,258 4,149 5,537
EBIT 283 193 626 437 558
EBITDA 429 325 1,019 925 1,229
Adjusted EBITDA 449 374 1,109 1,074 1,373
Net income 194 385 275 521 252
Basic earnings per share (SEK) 1.55 3.14 2.23 5.11 2.70
Diluted earnings per share (SEK) 1.55 3.13 2.23 5.10 2.69
Discontinued operations
Net income - -48 - 6,240 6,223
Total operations
Net income 194 336 275 6,760 6,475
Basic earnings per share (SEK) 1.55 2.75 2.23 60.04 56.26
Diluted earnings per share (SEK) 1.55 2.74 2.23 59.92 56.06
Growth, continuing operations
Sales growth 6% 31% 3% 56% 41%
Changes in FX rates 5% 11% 6% 9% 9%
Sales growth at constant FX¹ 1% 20% -4% 47% 32%
of which organic growth 1% 4% -4% -4% -4%
1) Pro forma growth in Q3 2022 was 6 % and 5% in FY 2022

President & CEO’s comments

We delivered a strong quarter and returned to organic growth

We are very happy to report a strong Q3. Our sales and profitability were driven by a mix of the positive operational momentum we have been building throughout the year, combined with strong operational execution. I am also proud that we have grown sequentially in each of the quarters of the year, despite the normally seasonally weaker Q3.

I am also excited to have closed our first major deal since 2021 – the acquisition of Snowprint Studios after the end of the quarter. This enables us to add the fast-scaling mid-core hit Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus to our portfolio and lets us welcome a great team of game industry veterans to our Gaming Village.  

Our continuously improving performance and strong operational dynamics mean that we are well on track to delivering on our full year revenue goals, while also enabling us to upgrade our full year margin outlook. This upgrade is driven by the strength and ongoing scaling of our casual portfolio, another quarter of highly successful monetization of established users in Forge of Empires and strong growth from Bloons TD6.

We reported record revenues of SEK 1,494 in Q3, which represented 6% year-over-year growth, supported by positive currency effects. We returned to organic growth in the quarter, with revenues up 1% year-over-year and 2% sequentially in constant currencies. The year-over-year growth was driven by PlaySimple and Ninja Kiwi, while nearly all our studios grew their sales on a sequential basis. It’s also worth keeping in mind that PlaySimple received the last of its platform incentive payments in Q3 last year, which means that our underlying growth is even more encouraging. 

PlaySimple is the largest studio in our portfolio and is now beginning to benefit from the scale they have been building over the last two years. The strong year-over-year growth reflected the much larger user base for our word games, as well as the strong performance of Word Search and Crossword Jam in the quarter. PlaySimple’s revenues were up slightly on a sequential basis, despite the seasonally weaker third quarter. The studio continued to work actively on optimization and live-ops in the quarter and is making good progress on several new games.

InnoGames continued to stabilize its performance in the quarter. Revenues from our largest title, Forge of Empires, were up both year on year and quarter on quarter, thanks to another period of strong execution on live-ops and key events, as well as growing browser revenues. The performance in the period further cements Forge of Empires as one of our most important evergreen titles and we continued to see high engagement and healthy spending levels from our established players in the quarter. This once again highlights how InnoGames has managed to energize and refocus its team following the reorganization in April. The studio’s revenues were down year over year, mainly due to lower marketing investments in some titles while the team continues to work on the long-term performance of their new games.

Ninja Kiwi’s revenues were up significantly year over year and up slightly on a sequential basis in constant currencies. The growth was driven by Bloons TD 6, which continues to showcase the strength of Ninja Kiwi’s content combined with highly successful platform and distribution deals. The game also benefited from strong initial sales on Xbox. After the end of the quarter Ninja Kiwi launched a milestone update for Bloons TD 6, which included the brand-new Map Editor feature. Early data has shown very strong engagement for the Map Editor from both new and established players. The update has generated significant buzz in the Bloons community and was a strong driver of engagement out of the gate, prompting players to spend money in the app for the first time. At the end of September, Ninja Kiwi also revealed that their next game will be called Bloons Card Storm, a digital collectable card game set in the Bloons universe which will be launched in 2024. 

Hutch’s revenues were down year over year and compared to the second quarter, with both F1 Clash and Top Drives performing below our expectations. The game teams are committed to return these titles to growth and are exploring a range of options going forward. Hutch successfully test-launched its new title Forza Customs in four markets, with encouraging KPIs across the board. The game is now available globally and Hutch is now preparing for a full commercial launch of the game. Hutch also announced that they have partnered with NASCAR to develop a new standalone mobile game in 2024.  

Kongregate’s sales were down year over year, but up slightly sequentially. The studio continued to focus on Web 3.0 gaming, with multiple updates for Bit Heroes Quest launched in the quarter. Kongregate also launched Bit Heroes Runner on Android and IOS during the quarter and added 29 new games to the platform.

Strong margin performance across the board in a seasonally weaker quarter

We invested a total of SEK 554 million in user acquisition in Q3, which was equivalent to 37% of our total revenues in the period. Our total UA spend was up year over year in constant currencies. This increase primarily reflected the strong growth and increased marketing spend in our casual segment, while it has continued to be challenging to bring in new players to our mid-core games.

We reported adjusted EBITDA of SEK 449 million in the quarter, corresponding to a margin of 30%. This was a significant increase compared to SEK 374 million and a margin of 27% in Q3 last year, when our results were boosted by the platform incentive payments in PlaySimple. Our current profitability levels reflect our underlying revenue growth in our Word Games and Tower Defense franchises and higher monetization levels from established players in Forge of Empires.

We delivered a cash conversion of 69% in Q3 and 52% for the 12-month period ending 30 September 2023. This performance reflected the strong cash generation levels in our high margin studios, somewhat lower CAPEX and slightly positive working capital in the quarter.

We are executing on our M&A strategy while maintaining a strong balance sheet

On 5 October we announced that MTG had acquired a 70% majority stake in the fast-growing Swedish mobile games’ developer Snowprint Studios, the team behind the new and rapidly growing hit Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus. The game was launched in August 2022 and is in the very early stages of its growth journey.

We are convinced that we can help Snowprint accelerate their growth by providing them with access to the business intelligence and user acquisition toolkit available through the Flow Platform, which will help unlock new potential, and sharing our expertise in expanding games to new platforms. Snowprint has a small and highly experienced team in Stockholm and Berlin. The studio is led by three industry veterans, each with over 15 years of experience in mobile gaming.

The acquisition is closely aligned with our overall business strategy and Snowprint proved to be a strong match with our highly selective M&A framework. The acquisition enables us to increase our relevant scale in the crucially important mid-core segment. It is also closely aligned with our belief in successful games based on powerhouse global IP’s. I am excited about the additional strength in our portfolio and the opportunities for growth and cross-promotion we see from this in the future.

At the same time, we are continuing to buy back shares, on the back of the SEK 300 million repurchase program we launched on 1 September. This program runs until the end of the year, and our Board of Directors will evaluate our next steps when the time comes.

Looking forward

We expect the North American and European in-app purchase market to have been up by mid-single digits in Q3, which suggests that our markets continue to recover at a healthy rate. Given these positive dynamics, we now expect our overall market to be slightly up year over year in 2023, driven by the casual segment, while the mid-core market remains challenging.

I’m excited be heading into the rest of Q4 in a great position to deliver on our maintained revenue outlook and increased margin expectations. The acquisition of Snowprint adds another great studio to our Gaming Village and improves our potential to drive long-term synergies within the group.

We have a clear growth strategy, with transparent long-term growth and profitability targets. Our growth will come from our strong portfolio of established games and a very exciting pipeline of new titles that will be launched in next 12 to 24 months. This will be supported by the Flow Platform, and we continue to elevate the tools, experience, and experts we have in our studios.

I am excited about our future and look forward to sharing more news with you when the time comes.

Thank you,

Maria Redin

Group President & CEO, Modern Times Group MTG AB

Outlook for 2023

MTG reiterates its revenue outlook for the full year 2023 but raises its margin expectations.

We continue to expect our full-year sales to be within the range of -3% to +2% after adjusting for currency effects. We now expect our adjusted EBITDA margin for the year to be 25% to 27%, slightly above our long-term outlook of 23% to 25%.

The outlook for 2023 excludes the contribution from Snowprint Studios, which was acquired on 5 October 2023.

Shareholder information

MTG’s Annual General Meeting 2024

The Annual General Meeting will be held on 16 May 2024 in Stockholm. Shareholders wishing to have matters considered at the Annual General Meeting should submit their proposals in writing either by post to the “Company Secretary”, Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ), Annual General Meeting, P.O. Box 2094, SE-103 13 Stockholm, Sweden or by email to at least seven weeks before the Annual General Meeting in order for the proposal to be included in the notice to the meeting. Further details on how and when to register will be published in advance of the meeting.

Financial calendar

Item Date
Q4 2023 Interim Financial Results report 8 February 2024
Q1 2024 Interim Financial Results report 24 April 2024
Annual General Meeting 2023 16 May 2024
Q2 2024 Interim Financial Results report 18 July 2024
Q3 2024 Interim Financial Results report 24 October 2024


Anton Gourman, VP Communications          Direct: +46 73 661 8488,

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Conference call 

MTG will host a livestream and conference call at 3.00 p.m. CEST today, on 25 October 2023. The call will be held in English.

How to join:

  • To participate via livestream, please use this link.
  • To join via phone, please register on this link. After you’ve registered, you’ll receive the dial-in number and conference ID to access the teleconference.
  • You can ask questions via phone during the teleconference or by using the livestream Q&A tool.

This disclosure contains information that MTG is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation (EU nr 596/2014). The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person, on 25-10-2023 07:30 CET.

For more information:

Anton Gourman, VP Communications and IR Direct: +46 73 661 8488,

Follow us: / Twitter / LinkedIn

About MTG

MTG (Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ.)) ( is an international mobile gaming group that owns and operates gaming studios with popular global IPs across a wide range of casual and mid-core genres. The group is focused on accelerating portfolio company growth and supporting founders and entrepreneurs. MTG is an active driver of gaming industry consolidation and a strategic acquirer of gaming companies around the world. We are born in Sweden but have an international culture and global footprint. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (‘MTGA’ and ‘MTGB’).

Downlad the press files:
Q3 2023 Interim Report ENG