• Home
  • News
  • People
  • GiG names Jonas Warrer as acting group CEO amid corporate restructuring

Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has promoted GiG Media CEO Jonas Warrer to acting group CEO effective from today (22 September).

This decision is part of GiG’s ongoing transformation aimed at splitting the business into two distinct entities: GiG Media and GiG Platform & Sportsbook.

Richard Brown, who last week stepped down from the CEO role, will continue to support the business in an advisory board position until 31 December 2023.

Warrer is currently CEO of GiG’s Media division and will now take on dual responsibilities, overseeing both GiG Media and the broader group operations until the restructuring process is finalised.

In August, ex-SBTech CEO Richard Carter was announced as the incoming CEO of GiG’s Platform and Sportsbook business.

Commenting on Warrer’s appointment, GiG executive chairman Petter Nylander said: “We are very pleased to appoint Jonas as acting CEO through the process of splitting GiG into two distinct entities to enhance future expansion and drive shareholder value, in addition to his role as head of GiG Media.

“He has long experience within GiG and the industry and has been part of GiG’s executive management for four years.”

Warrer’s journey with GiG began in September 2017, when the company acquired Rebel Penguin Aps, a venture he founded and managed.

Over the years Warrer, who also serves as GiG CMO, has demonstrated his leadership prowess, notably as the managing director of GiG Media since October 2019.

Under his guidance, GiG Media has witnessed robust growth and expansion.

In Q2 2023, the division generated revenue of €21.7m, marking a 47% increase compared to the same period in 2022.

Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has revealed that it intends to divide its two business units into separate companies during the first half of 2024.

The Stockholm-listed company made the announcement alongside the release of its Q2 2023 financial results.

Topline numbers

In Q2 2023, Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) posted a 40% year-on-year revenue increase to €31.1m, driven notably by a 22% organic boost.

GiG’s Media division revenue reached an all-time high of €21.7m, up 47% on Q2 2022. Meanwhile, platform and sportsbook revenue saw a 27% increase, totalling €9.3m.

Adjusted EBITDA grew by 68% year-on-year to €14m, resulting in a record 45% margin, on track towards GiG’s adjusted EBITDA margin target of 50%.

Additionally, EBIT surged by 173% to €6.6m, with a margin of 21.1%.

In H1 2023, revenue reached €59.5m, an increase of 44% increase year-over-year.

Adjusted EBITDA was €25.7m, up 71% on H1 2022, with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 43.1%.

News nugget

GiG CEO Richard Brown provided further updates on the planned spin-off of the company’s business units.

As per plans revealed earlier this year, the company intends to divide its GiG Media and GiG platform and sportsbook businesses into two separate, publicly listed entities.

The planning for this corporate transformation is currently underway, with meticulous attention to the strategic and operational intricacies involved.

An execution of the spin-off is anticipated in the first half of 2024, subject to all requisite corporate actions and approvals from shareholders.

“We still remain with a very strong conviction that the proposed split will enable each of the business units to derive a much better value and enable them to reach their full value potential and growth opportunities over the coming years,” Brown said.

Brown also confirmed that Jonas Warrer will take over as the CEO of GiG Media. Warrer currently serves as CMO and has also been the managing director of GiG Media since October 2019.

He initially joined GiG in September 2017 as the general manager of GiG’s Copenhagen office.

Brown said Warrer has demonstrated an “extremely strong track record for growth”.

“He has not only been able to derive meaningful revenue growth but also significantly improved his team, the operations, the product and the technological capabilities of the unit. So, we’re very proud and we’re very sure that he will be able to continue that success going forward,” he added.

Earlier this week, GiG announced that it has appointed Richard Carter as the new CEO for its platform and sportsbook business.

Latam growth

Moreover, the company also shared that GiG Media’s revenue from the Americas increased by 24% year-on-year, now accounting for 22% of total revenue.

“Latin America remains a very strong region of growth and is becoming what we see as another runway that is really developing quite quickly for us,” Brown said.

Brazil, he added, has historically been a strong market for GiG and continues to thrive.

Additionally, GiG is observing promising growth prospects in other Latin American countries like Argentina and Colombia.

Equally, Brown highlighted a similar growth trend within the platform and sportsbook division, where North and Latin America collectively now contribute almost 30% of GGR.

“We’re also very proud of the fact that 92% of our operator GGR is coming from regulated or soon to be regulated markets,” Brown concluded.

Best quote

During the earnings call, CEO Brown shared some insight on the German market, highlighting that while the market has changed considerably due to its adopted regulatory framework, GiG remains committed to the market.

“I think the German market is an interesting but challenging one. But I think it’s also important to zoom out to see where it is going to be in three to five years. Before regulation, it was one of Europe’s largest markets, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t approach the levels seen in the UK, with billions of euros spent annually.”
GiG CEO Richard Brown

Best question

CEO Brown was asked to provide examples of the measures taken by GiG to substantially improve the performance of the AskGamblers brand following its acquisition from Catena Media.

The first six months of operating AskGamblers have seen a 45% increase in revenue, growth in player intake exceeding 40%, and EBITDA doubling when comparing July to January 2023.

Brown explained that GiG’s teams have shifted their focus towards implementing “what they consider optimal for the product”. This involves enhancing both content creation and usability.

“I don’t exaggerate when I say that the granularity that the teams actually operate on is immense.”

He highlighted the team’s dedication to optimising the performance of each individual page.

“And then, of course, our BI systems are tremendous. They enable us to really make very strong commercial and usability decisions,” he explained.

This combined approach, Brown concluded, led to a noticeable enhancement in revenue structure and the overall performance of the AskGamblers brand.

Current trading & outlook

GiG anticipates full-year revenue to come in between €125m and €130m, accompanied by an adjusted EBITDA margin spanning between 47% and 50%.

Brown was also queried about potential adjustments to its mid-term guidance, considering that it was edging closer to its long-term target.

Bown replied: “I think we’re still very happy with this type that we said we’d be at 50% or above 50% during next year,” reaffirming GiG’s long-term EBITDA margin objective.

He elaborated that due to the planned division of the two segments into separate publicly listed entities, making adjustments at the group level wouldn’t be logical.

Once the two businesses are successfully established, “they will have their own targets and their own financial KPIs”.

Investors reacted positively to GiG’s business update, causing shares to trade around 3% higher following the presentation of the Q2 results.

Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has recorded 40% year-on-year revenue growth to €31.1m in Q2 2023.

Significantly, the growth was driven by a 22% organic increase in revenue.

Meanwhile, GiG’s adjusted EBITDA experienced 68% growth year-on-year, reaching €14m.

This growth culminated in a record EBITDA margin of 45%, which is making steady progress towards the company’s target of a 50% margin.

Furthermore, the company witnessed a notable 173% year-on-year boost in EBIT, amounting to €6.6m, with an EBIT margin of 21.1%.

Divisional revenue highlights

In the Media division, GiG’s revenue reached an all-time high of €21.7m, up 47% on Q2 2022, with a significant 20% being organic growth.

On the other hand, platform and sportsbook revenue saw a 27% increase, totalling €9.3m. Adjusted EBITDA for this segment was also up at €3.7m, achieving a margin of 39.7%.

GiG’s Q2 earnings per share also showed positive movement, rising from the previous €0.01 to €0.05. The company’s cash flow from operations remained in positive territory, registering at €9.1m.

Operational milestones

On the operational front, GiG Media recorded a 38% surge in first-time depositors (FTDs) year-on-year, as it reached a total of 109,400.

The recently acquired AskGamblers brand continued its positive trajectory, with GiG revealing a 45% revenue growth compared to the rate at takeover in January.

Additionally, the platform and sportsbook division successfully acquired licences in Pennsylvania and Maryland in the US, and a new gambling software provider licence in Sweden.

Notably, all GiG legacy sportsbook clients successfully transitioned to the Sportnco solution.

The quarter also saw the launch of two new brands and the signing of three new platform and sportsbook agreements.

GiG CEO Richard Brown emphasised the company’s focus on scalability and efficiency.

“While we are proud of these results, we can also see a great opportunity across the business units going forward as we continue to focus and optimise the operational performance while concurrently pursuing many areas of growth,” he said.

Update on strategic review

Brown also revealed that progress towards the completion of GiG’s strategic review has been substantial.

He added that operationally, the group will be prepared to execute the planned spin-off – dividing the GiG Media and GiG platform and sportsbook businesses into two separate companies – by year-end.

The execution, dependent on market conditions, is targeted for the first half of 2024.

“We now enter the second half of the year with a complete focus on ensuring robust growth mechanics, ongoing operational improvements and long-term scalability for GiG,” he stated.

Concluding his remarks, Brown said: “I truly believe there is a strong and clear path to sustained success for both operational and strategic aspects of the business units, and we are fully committed to achieving it.”

Post Q2 events

Notably, following Q2 2023, an additional five GiG brands successfully launched operations, solidifying GiG’s footprint in Serbia and extending the company’s reach into Latin America. GiG now counts a total of 65 live brands.

Moreover, GiG’s platform also became operational in Maryland, USA.

In terms of leadership changes, Richard Carter was appointed as the new platform & sportsbook CEO while Jonas Warrer took over as the CEO for GiG Media.

Finally, GiG said revenue in July showed a promising trend, recording a 30% year-on-year increase, with 10% of this growth being organic.