MTG delivers organic growth with pro forma net sales up 6% and a 27% adjusted EBITDA margin in Q3 and launches a new share repurchase program of SEK 400m

MTG delivers organic growth with pro forma net sales up 6% and a 27% adjusted EBITDA margin in Q3 and launches a new share repurchase program of SEK 400m

Stockholm
October 26, 2022
07.30 AM CEST
MTG delivered organic growth of 4 percent year on year in the third quarter and pro forma growth of 6 percent on the back of growth in key franchises. Marketing investments levels were stable, representing 35 percent of quarter sales and the group therefore delivered SEK 374 million in adjusted EBITDA for the period, with an elevated profit margin of 27 percent. The results support the group’s already strong balance sheet, further boosted by positive realized and unrealized currency effects through the strengthening of the USD in the quarter. The Board of Directors has therefore launched a new share repurchase program of SEK 400 million to run until the AGM 2023 in line with the 10 percent limit of the mandate approved by the AGM.

Financial highlights Q3, continuing operations

  • Pro forma revenues up 6 percent year on year. Net sales growth of 31 percent year on year to SEK 1,412 (1,081) million, while organic revenues increased by 4 percent year on year.  
  • Stable levels of user acquisition spend of SEK 499 (405) million corresponding to 35 percent of revenue (SEK 500 million in Q2)
  • Adjusted EBITDA of SEK 374 (339) million with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 27 (31) percent
  • Reported EBITDA of SEK 325 (284) million and EBIT of SEK 193 (155) million, including EBITDA adjustments of SEK 29 million of non-recurring bonus structures and SEK 3 million of M&A transaction costs
  • Net financial items amounted to SEK 304 (-117) million, mainly related to unrealized and realized exchange rate differences of SEK 255 million, revaluation of financial liability of SEK 50 million and discounted interests of earnouts of SEK -52 million
  • Total net income of SEK 336 (45) million and total basic earnings per share of SEK 2.75 (0.39). Net income from continuing operations amounted to SEK 385 (2) million
  • Cash flow from operations in the quarter of SEK 291 (-9) million including a realized FX gain amounting to SEK 95 million in the quarter
  • Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period amounted to SEK 4,695 (1,048) million, which is in addition to the SEK 407 million in long term bank deposits

Financial overview

(SEKm) Q3 2022 Q3 2021 9M 2022 9M 2021 FY 2021
Continuing operations
Net sales 1,412 1,081 4,149 2,659 3,931
EBIT 193 155 437 323 513
EBITDA 325 284 925 620 978
Adjusted EBITDA 374 339 1,074 724 1,102
Net income 385 2 521 68 -248
Basic earnings per share (SEK) 3.14 0.00 5.11 0.49 -1.86
Diluted earnings per share (SEK) 3.13 0.00 5.10 0.49 -1.86
Discontinued operations
Net income -48 43 6,240 -157 -207
Total operations
Net income 336 45 6,760 -90 -454
Basic earnings per share (SEK) 2.75 0.39 60.04 -1.06 -3.85
Diluted earnings per share (SEK) 2.74 0.39 59.92 -1.05 -3.85
Growth, continuing operations
Sales growth 31% 59% 56% 30% 47%
Changes in FX rates 11% -4% 9% -6% -4%
Sales growth at constant FX 20% 63% 47% 36% 51%
of which organic growth 4% -19% -4% -9% -9%
Pro forma growth 1 6% 8% 8% 12% 12%
1) Please refer to page 21 for detailed pro forma growth table
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President & CEO’s comments

Quality assets provide resilience

We’re proud to report that MTG has lived up to its commitment to deliver organic growth despite a challenging macro-economic environment and limited visibility on the market. This highlights the quality of our games, the strength of our portfolio and demonstrates the power of gaming as an industry.

Third quarter sales also benefited from significant currency exchange effects. We therefore reported a growth of 31 percent year on year and 2 percent sequentially. The strong sales were coupled with high margins in the quarter. This performance, together with a strong balance sheet further supported by our dollar deposits in the quarter, is enabling us to launch our third share buyback program of the year.

Back to organic growth in Q3

We delivered 6 percent year-on-year pro forma growth in the third quarter, with organic growth of 4 percent. Both InnoGames and Hutch returned to organic year-on-year growth in the third quarter but grew less than we expected at the start of the year. PlaySimple continued to deliver exceptional year-on-year growth in the third quarter boosted further by a non-recurring effect.

Our year-on-year growth was partially offset by a decline in Ninja Kiwi and Kongregate sales. Ninja Kiwi’s year-on-year performance mainly reflected the studio’s hugely popular Steam sale in the third quarter of last year, mitigated somewhat by a major and well-received content update and a price increase for Bloons TD6. Kongregate’s performance reflected the sales decline in the legacy portfolio earlier in the year.

Expanding our gaming franchises

We firmly believe that our strong franchises have a great potential for further expansion and that strong live-ops are the key to long term success.

Our studios continued to introduce major updates during the quarter. Hutch celebrated Top Drives’ fifth anniversary with the release of the ‘World Expo’ update and launched a new Battle Pass feature for F1 Clash. This is giving players more long-term incentives to engage with the game and improving the overall performance of the title.

InnoGames had a busy quarter with multiple in-game events in Forge of Empires, as well as content updates and in-game events in Rise of Cultures and Elvenar. Sunrise Village is also progressing well and moving closer to commercial launch.

Ninja Kiwi launched a major update and price increases for Bloons TD6 in the quarter. The studio has also continued to work on improving the player experience for Bloons TD Battles 2.

PlaySimple implemented new features in Word Trip as well as Word Search to improve the lifetime value of the game. The studio is currently scaling Crossword Explorer and has successfully test launched Jigsaw, a new puzzle game.

The Flow Platform is making good progress

We’re also excited to report tangible development from our Flow Platform initiative. This is the common layer we’re putting in place to help our gaming studios accelerate performance and ensure we can effectively allocate resources across the group.

The Flow Platform is a crucial part of MTG’s strategy, and we have made good progress across several milestones. Our marketing team, which was already in place in the second quarter, has been working closely with Hutch to help the team implement new tools and processes.

The central team has also implemented a common Business Intelligence framework across the group and made cloud versions of InnoGames’ marketing efficiency tools available to all our companies. The onboarding of our gaming companies is proceeding at a healthy pace.

Strong profitability and UA investments at 35% of revenue

MTG’s marketing investments in the quarter totalled SEK 499 million, which represented 35 percent of revenues and remained unchanged from the second quarter. Our UA spend was lower than initially anticipated in the quarter, as companies adjusted their investment levels in response to low visibility on the market.  

As a result, the group secured high profitability levels. Our total adjusted EBITDA landed at SEK 374 million with a margin of 27 percent, reflecting the lower than anticipated marketing investments. The results were further supported by a non-recurring effect in the quarter.

MTG delivered a cash conversion of 53 percent for the first nine months of the year, well within its anticipated range. This continues to reflect the strength of the group’s gaming portfolio and our highly engaged player base. The group had SEK 4,695 million in cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period, plus SEK 407 million placed in long term bank deposits.

Launching a new SEK 400 million share repurchase program

We have continued to generate healthy cashflow from operations during the first nine months of 2022. We have also benefitted from positive currency effects from our USD deposits. As a result, the group’s balance sheet was in a very strong position at the end of the period.

MTG’s Board has therefore decided to launch a new, SEK 400 million, share repurchase programme. Buy-backs will commence from the 27th of October and run until the 2023 AGM. 

Looking ahead

We have now entered the fourth quarter, which is always the seasonally most important when it comes to UA investments and gaming revenue. Our focus on live-ops and the Flow platform are more critical than ever in the current market, and our intention is to increase UA investments in the fourth quarter.

MTG remains well-positioned to continue growing its market share, thanks to our high-quality gaming portfolio and outstanding team. We still expect mobile gaming markets to outperform the wider macro environment and show a higher degree of resilience, but we remain humble regarding the potential impact that a wider recession could have.

We will host a Game Makers Day in London on November 30, where you will have an opportunity to hear directly from the senior leaders of our gaming studios. We’d love for you to join us in person but will of course stream the day for people who cannot attend. If you’d like to register for the event, please visit our homepage.

Thank you for following our progress. We look forward to sharing more news with you in the future.

Maria Redin

Group President & CEO, Modern Times Group MTG AB

Outlook for the full year 2022

Short term outlook

Following the release of the results for the first quarter of 2022, MTG provided an outlook indicative of 10 percent pro forma revenue growth and adjusted EBITDA margins of 23.5 percent for the full year. This outlook was based on a market that, at the time, was expected to grow 5 percent. In September, Sensor Tower revised their full year outlook for player spending downwards and currently expects the market to decline by 2 percent for the full year.

MTG still expects to outgrow the market significantly but has to take current market trends into account. The group is therefore revising its outlook for the full year 2022 to between 5-6 percent pro forma growth adjusted for currency effects. 

The fourth quarter is important for the gaming industry in terms of customer acquisition and the opportunities that historically present themselves during this period. We are currently planning to seize these opportunities and therefore significantly increase UA investments compared to the previous quarters. If the market environment supports our marketing plan, we would expect our adjusted EBITDA margin for the full year to be around 23-24 percent, in line with the previously provided outlook.

Shareholder information

MTG’s Annual General Meeting 2023

The Annual General Meeting will be held on 17 May 2023 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 agm@mtg.com 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.

Nomination Committee ahead of Annual General Meeting 2023

In accordance with the resolution by the Annual General Meeting of MTG shareholders regarding the procedure for the Nomination Committee, a Nomination Committee has been convened to prepare proposals for the 2023 Annual General Meeting.

The Nomination Committee comprises:

  • Christian Rauda, appointed by EHM Holding GmbH;
  • Klaus Roehrig, appointed by Active Ownership Corporation;
  • Joachim Spetz, appointed by Swedbank Robur Fonder; and
  • Simon Duffy, the Chairman of the Board

In line with past practice, the members of the Committee have appointed Christian Rauda, representing the largest shareholder on the last business day of August 2022, as the Committee Chairman.

Please see the following section on MTG.com for information about the work of the Nomination Committee: https://www.mtg.com/governance/nomination-committee/.

Shareholders wishing to propose candidates for election to the MTG Board of Directors should submit their proposals in writing to agm@mtg.com or to the “Company Secretary”, Modern Times Group MTG AB, Box 2094, SE-103 13 Stockholm, Sweden.      

Financial calendar

Item Date
Q4 2022 Interim Results report February 9, 2023
Q1 2023 Interim Financial Results report April 26, 2023
Annual General Meeting 2023 May 17, 2023
Q2 2023 Interim Financial Results report July 20, 2023
Q3 2023 Interim Financial Results report October 25, 2023
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Conference call

The company will host a conference call later today, Wednesday October 26, at 15:00 p.m. CET. The conference call will be held in English. More details on the event can be found when following the link below:

https://financialhearings.com/event/44542

To participate in the call, please dial:

Sweden +46 (0) 850 558 365
UK +44 (0) 333 300 9274
US +1 646 722 4903
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The conference call is also streamed, giving the opportunity to submit written questions, through the following link:

https://ir.financialhearings.com/mtg-q3-2022

Modern Times Group MTG AB (Publ.) – Reg no: 556309-9158 – Phone: +46 (0) 8-562 000 50

MTG (Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ.)) (www.mtg.com) 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’).

This information is information that Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ.) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact persons set out above, at 7.30 a.m. CET on October 26, 2022.

[This interim report contains statements concerning, among other things, MTG’s financial condition and results of operations that are forward-looking in nature. Such statements are not historical facts but, rather, represent MTG’s future expectations. MTG believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions; however, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, and a number of important factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Such important factors include but may not be limited to MTG’s market position; growth in the gaming industry; and the effects of competition and other economic, business, competitive and/or regulatory factors affecting the business of MTG, its group companies and the gaming industry in general. Forward-looking statements apply only as of the date they were made, and, other than as required by applicable law, MTG undertakes no obligation to update any of them in the light of new information or future events.]

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