Paf posts record revenue but warns over profitability

Paf has been reducing its loss limits.
Paf has been reducing its loss limits.

The Nordic operator said high taxes are expected to impact its profit.

Finland.- Paf, the gaming operator owned by the Åland Islands regional government, has posted record full-year revenue of €177.1m for 2023. However, it also warned that high taxes are expected to reduce its profitability.

Revenue was up 6.9 per cent year-on-year, while net profit was up by 23 per cent to a record €55.1m. Online revenue rose 8.2 per cent to €153.8m, boosted by the acquisition of William Hill and Mr Green in Latvia. Online customer numbers were up 27.3 per cent at 615,557.

Meanwhile, land-based and ship-based gambling revenue was down 0.9 per cent at €23.3m despite a 4 per cent rise in ship passengers, deals with Tallink Group and Eckerö Linjen and the debut of Finnline’s Finnsirius. Last year also saw Paf launch its first land-based Game Room with Pikseli at Redi in Helsinki.

Paf profitability 

The company noted that its profitability would be impacted by tax rises. A temporary reduction on lottery tax in Finland has come to an end, meaning that the rate rises from 5 to 12 per cent. Gambling tax is also going up in the other markets where Paf operates: from 18 to 22 per cent in Sweden, from 5 to 6 per cent in Estonia and from 10 to 12 per cent in Latvia.

Paf also continues to be impacted by responsible gambling measures, including its own. Just this month, Paf announced that it had reduced loss limits for players aged 20 to 24 from €10,000 to €8,000 per year with immediate effect.

For 2023, pre-tax profit was €60m, up 27.9 per cent year-on-year. However, net profit was down 23 per cent to €55.1m. The company distributed €31.4m in funds, including to organisations involved in social activities, culture, youth work, sports and environmental activities.

Paf CEO Christer Fahlstedt said: “We can be happy and proud with the past year. We have gained a larger customer base, and the number of active customers has increased by 27 per cent, which explains some of it. However, we are also well aware that the temporarily low gaming taxes in Finland have helped the result. The trend of increasing gaming taxes will continue.”

Fahlstedt added: “Changes will result in reduced profitability and many operators will find it more difficult. But Paf is well prepared for the times ahead.”

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