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ZEAL Network SE (-) ZEAL Group confirms 2017 results exceed guidance following strong fourth quarter 22-March-2018 / 07:35 CET/CEST Dissemination of a Regulatory Announcement, transmitted by EQS Group. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement. _22 March 2018_ *ZEAL Group confirms 2017 results exceed guidance following strong fourth quarter* - EBIT of EUR25.2 million; above guidance range - Total Operating Performance of EUR141.2 million; above guidance range - 31% increase in new registered customers - Strong fourth quarter billings of EUR78.8 million; up 21% from third quarter ZEAL Group, the world's leading lottery innovator, today announced it delivered a strong performance in 2017, with results exceeding guidance in spite of the exceptionally weak jackpot environment during the third quarter of the year. The Group confirmed, as it published its audited results for 2017, it has delivered EBIT of EUR25.2 million and Total Operating Performance (TOP) of EUR141.2 million. Total billings for the year were maintained at EUR280.5 million. The strong results were delivered in spite of the weak jackpot environment in the Group's core products during the third quarter, higher hedging costs due to EuroMillions rule changes, and significant pay-outs including a single EUR15 million prize in the first quarter. The Group's fourth quarter performance was particularly strong with billings of EUR78.8 million; up 21% since the third quarter. This was driven by a combination of its most successful new product launch to date with the introduction of Powerball, and record billings in the Spanish Christmas Lottery, El Gordo. *Jonas Mattsson, Chief Financial Officer, ZEAL Group, said: *_'2017 was an exciting and satisfactory year for ZEAL Group. Our strong financial results, delivered in challenging conditions, demonstrate the underlying strength of our business. I am particularly pleased with our excellent fourth quarter performance in which we delivered our most successful new product launch ever. This, coupled with the progress we have made on being even more operationally efficient, gives me confidence for the future.'_ The Group continued to make significant progress against its strategy by launching into three new international markets during the year, including two in the fourth quarter - Norway and the UK - which followed its second quarter launch in Ireland. In 2017, its sustained focus on customer acquisition delivered 411,000 new registered customers for the Group and its partners (2016: 314,000); an increase of 31%. *Dr. Helmut Becker, Chief Executive, ZEAL Group said: *_'2017 was a milestone year for the Group as we made good strategic progress: launching in three new markets, improving our product portfolio, enhancing our technology, being even more efficient, attracting more new customers, and continuing to unearth the lottery disruptors of the future.'_ *Dr Becker added:* 'The global regulatory environment continues to be challenging. However, we firmly believe the world's lottery market is full of untapped potential. As a diverse and long-term focused business, we are well positioned to take advantage of those opportunities.'  Billings comprise all stakes from customers (including brokerage stakes) net of free bets *Selected financial results to 31 December 2017*: *2017* *2016* *Billings* EUR280.5 million EUR280.4 million *Statutory Revenue* EUR134.3 million EUR112.9 million *TOP* EUR141.2 million EUR139.6 million *Statutory EBIT* EUR25.2 million EUR38.0 million *Net profit* EUR17.2 million EUR26.0 million *Earnings per share* EUR2.05 EUR3.09 *2018 Outlook* For 2018, ZEAL Group expects to deliver EBIT in the range of EUR33 million - EUR43 million, and Total Operating Performance (TOP) of EUR150 million - EUR160 million. ZEAL Group expects to pay a dividend of at least EUR1.00 per share in 2018, subject to financial performance. *- ENDS -* *Contacts:* _Media Relations:_ Matt Drage, Head of Corporate Communications +44 (0) 7976 872 861 firstname.lastname@example.org _Investor Relations:_ Frank Hoffmann: +44 (0) 20 3739 7123 email@example.com *Notes to Editor*: 1. The 2017 ZEAL Group annual results can be found here: http://www.zeal-network.co.uk/investors/publications/  2. ZEAL is an international group of companies reinventing the world of lottery. 3. Specialising in the online lottery space, the company was founded in 1999 as Tipp24 SE and renamed as ZEAL Network SE in 2014. 4. The company is based in London, and its shares are listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. 5. Since its incorporation, ZEAL has generated stakes of more than EUR3 billion and, across the Group, paid out more than EUR1.5 billion in winnings. 6. ZEAL's associated company, myLotto24, invented the concept of jackpot-matching online lottery betting. It holds the sector's record for the single largest payout of EUR48 million. In Q1 2017, myLotto24, made a life-changing payment of EUR15 million to a winning customer. 7. ZEAL Group includes all subsidiaries of ZEAL Network SE and the affiliated companies of the independent shareholding myLotto24 Ltd. Billings comprise all stakes from customers (including brokerage stakes) net of free bets ISIN: GB00BHD66J44 Category Code: ACS TIDM: - LEI Code: 391200EIRBXU4TUMMQ46 OAM Categories: 1.1. Annual financial and audit reports Sequence No.: 5323 End of Announcement EQS News Service 667233 22-March-2018 1: http://public-cockpit.eqs.com/cgi-bin/fncls.ssp?fn=redirect&url=ff31510ef05c26acf2beb9b2365a9c49&application_id=667233&site_id=vwd&application_name=news
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 22, 2018 02:35 ET (06:35 GMT)