Buzz Bingo cuts losses as revenue rises in FY21

| By Robert Fletcher
UK operator Buzz Bingo was able to significantly reduce its net loss during its 2021 financial year following an increase in revenue and a drop in spending.

Revenue for the 12 months from 17 January 2021 to 15 January 2022 amounted to £139.8m (€164.0m/$175.1m), up 14.4% from £122.2m in the previous financial year.

Buzz Bingo said the relaxation of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) measures in the UK meant its land-based bingo venues were less restricted and were able to welcome more customers. 

However, in contrast, online revenue declined 31.0% year-on-year as players returned to land-based venues following their reopening and easing of Covid-19 measures. Buzz Bingo noted that the prior year’s high performance was due to the widespread temporary closure of its venues in line to Covid-19 rules, with players turning to online in the absence of retail.

Costs of sales were 10.0% higher at £46.4m, but the increase in revenue meant gross profit was up 17.1% to £93.7m.

Looking at other spending, administrative expenses were 32.6% lower at £113.8m. Lower costs, coupled with higher revenue, meant operating profit before exceptional items for the full year was £10.2m, compared to an £11.0m loss in the previous year.

Buzz Bingo also reported £3.2m in exceptional items and £28.7m worth of depreciation, amortisation and impairment. However, these costs were significantly lower than in 2020, when exceptional items totalled £14.3m, while a £28.8m non-cash impairment of goodwill pushed depreciation, amortisation and impairment costs to £69.1m.

This left an operating loss of £20.1m, an improvement on £88.7m last year. Net financial expenses amounted to £31.7m, down from £42.0m, meaning pre-tax loss was £51.9m, again lower than £130.7m in 2020.

As Buzz Bingo did not pay any tax, net loss was also £51.9m, compared to £141.9m in the previous year.

“The current trading performance and linked underlying customer resilience are encouraging signs and provide the directors with additional comfort that the business is now well placed to respond to the ongoing uncertainty that Covid-19 continues to bring,” Buzz Bingo said.

During the year, Buzz Bingo was acquired by asset manager Intermediate Capital Group for a ‘nominal amount’ from Caledonia Investments.

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