Henrik Tjärnström Kindred CEO

Kindred Group has released its summary for the year 2021, covering its strategy and commitments to increasing better improving its sustainability drive.

The report also featured an extensive statement from the company’s CEO Henrik Tjärnström, who discussed the last year and provided insights for next year.

On 2021, he reflected that the world was able to experience a “great year of sports” despite the pandemic, with both Euro 2021 and the Tokyo Olympics being delayed to the year, and other major leagues and tournaments resuming again.

Mr Tjärnström reflected that Kindred has its roots as a sportsbook company, and that aside from “being great customer activation events [these competitions] proved to be important culture-building opportunities” for staff working remotely.

“In a time when we cannot meet in person in the same way keeps us united,” he added.

During the year, Kindred also adopted the ‘hybrid’ approach to work, which has become increasingly popular amongst iGaming companies – to help it work to attract talent.

“We need to continue to attract the very best talent in order to deliver on our strategic objectives and as our values, culture and personal growth opportunity have set us apart in the past, they must continue to do so in our new ‘hybrid’ future,” the CEO added.

Mr Tjärnström also discussed the company’s so-called ‘Journey towards zero,’ which is its public drive to reach zero revenue from harmful gambling by 2023.

“I firmly believe that gambling can make a major positive contribution to our society and should only ever be a source of entertainment for our customers,” he explained.

Regarding the company’s broader strategy, the CEO detailed how its focus on scale makes it resilient to future challenges, saying:

“Our performance throughout the year has been strong with growth in revenue and an even better development on an underlying EBITDA level. The team has worked hard to improve cost-efficiencies and scale our operations, providing a solid foundation for profitable growth in locally-licensed markets and putting us in a stronger financial position than ever before.”

Observing trends in the wider iGaming industry, Mr Tjärnström explained that a pre-existing shift towards digital gambling was accelerated by the pandemic

At the same time, regulatory ad compliance requirements are also increasing in the complexity, placing a greater burden on reputable operators to deliver “equally complex technical solutions.”

For Kindred, the CEO explained that its “size, experience and proprietary technology” means it can meet the requirements imposed by these developments. However, he also sounded the alarm on the possibility that increasingly complicated requirements might generate an increased risk of a skewed market environment.

On 2022, Mr Tjärnström provided an overwhelmingly positive outlook, stating: “Our future is bright despite our challenges.”

“Looking ahead, I see an exciting future for Kindred. Over ten years ago we embarked on a strategy to transform ourselves and over time only operate in locally licensed markets. In 2020 we took the decision to adapt the organisation for this future based on scalability, compliance and differentiation,” he said.

“In the final quarter of 2021, we derived 77 per cent of our gross winnings revenue from locally licensed markets and have proved we can be scalable in these markets with solid bottom line growth.”

The CEO also said he expects the company to continue to push full steam ahead with its plans to excel in customer experience and product control through the development of its own sportsbook platform.

This is expected to be a “transformative” development for the group, and he commented, it will continue to bring its expertise to bear to deliver a full in-house sportsbook across multiple markets.

Mr Tjärnström concluded by thanking Kindred’s staff for their work, saying: “I cannot be prouder of how everyone at Kindred has managed to work through the pandemic and continue to deliver strong return for our customers and owners.

“Together with the Relax Gaming team, as Individual United, we will continue to raise the bar in 2022 and ensure we live up to our purpose of ‘transforming gambling by being a trusted source of entertainment that contributes positively to society.”

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