Publicly listed Danish esports organisation Astralis Group has released its H1 2021 financial report, accounting for 1st January 2021 to 30th June 2021.
Here are some key figures from the half-year report (all values have been converted from Danish krone (DKK) to Great British pound in approximate amounts):
- Total revenue was £4.53m, a reported 91.6% increase compared to H1 2020, £2.36m.
- Gross loss or EBITDA was -£427k, significantly lower than last year’s reported loss of -£1.34m.
- Operating loss or EBIT was -£1.48m, an improvement from the same period in 2020 of -£3.37m.
The full half-year report can be downloaded here.
The increase of revenue was primarily attributed to higher league revenue, sponsorship revenue and sale of in-game items, according to the report.
Quoted in the press release, Anders Hørsholt, CEO & President of Astralis Group notes that “the continued effects of the pandemic on the advertising market and live events affected our business negatively, still, we maintain the positive development of our business with a doubling of revenue and a continued improvement in operating profit.”
The company has “maintained and extended important commercial partnership agreements at the same time entered into new agreements, including the new main partner.”
As reported on Esports Insider, during H1 2021, Astralis has entered partnerships with: Blux, HP, and Universal Music Group. Since June 30th, the company has partnered with POWER as well as the aforementioned new main partner, Bybit.
Hørsholt goes on to state that “the development in the value of franchise rights confirms [the company’s] strategy … In addition to our franchise slot in LEC, which is a part of the largest tournament in League of Legends, we own league rights in Counter-Strike, where we in addition to our co-ownership of Pro League, hold rights in both Pro League and in BLAST. These or similar rights have not yet been traded in the market.”
The org also fields a FIFA esports roster with three world champion players.
The report’s Letter to Shareholders by Nikolaj Nyholm, Astralis Group Chairman, makes a case for Atralis’ one-of-ten €10.5m (~£9.02m) 2018 franchise investments in the LEC, citing the June 2021 sale of FC Schalke04’s franchise spot for a confirmed €26.5m (~£22.76m) values the LEC franchise spot with a 250% appreciation of market value over three years.
The company has accounted for this investment as an intangible asset in the Consolidated Balance Sheet. Also including goodwill, trademark and player rights related to the acquisition of Astralis Management total intangible assets accounted for £8,48m, down 34.9% from H1 2020.
In the press release, the company lists the opening of the Astralis Nexus 1,200 sqm gaming and entertainment centre as “the first step towards establishing ourselves in the broader gaming market.” In April, the company also announced its intention to list on the US market.
The group expects with the eventual return of live events and tournaments, thousands of fans will return to big arenas allowing commercial partnerships activations and merchandise sales to return to their pre-pandemic strengths.
The group also anticipates additional interest and demand from the advertising sector and larger brands throughout the second half of the year, with the caveat that “reduced effects of the pandemic will gradually improve our business opportunities in key business areas, however, we do not expect significant effects in the coming six months.”
Astralis Group maintains its financial guidance for 2021 with an expected annual revenue between ~£8.08–9.23m.
Esports Insider says: According to all calculations, the Astralis group has faced a marked improvement from the same period last year, an almost doubling of revenue is nothing to sneeze at. However, like many-if-not-all esports orgs, Astralis Group continues to operate at a loss. It’s interesting to note the stress given to the market valuations of esports franchise investments as part of its business strategy. For those interested, have a look at the Teams Results page of the report for a look at the teams’ winnings vs. operating costs.