Nektan PLC (LON:NKTN) Interim Chief Executive Officer Gary Shaw caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss how things are progressing for the company, the significance of the US sports announcement, traction in the US and where he sees the business in 12 months’ time.
Q1: Gary, it’s been a while, how are things going at Nektan?
A1: They’re going well. We’ve managed to, as we expected, scale our European business this year which is very pleasing, delighted by the figures.
In terms of what’s next, we’ve obviously as we RNS’d, we’ve launched in Asia, we’ve got some fairly large partners out there, 138.com who some people in the UK would know sponsor Watford, they’re our first material partner that we’re going through with the launch plan. We expect some significant growth there for the business as the same time as tracking quite well in Europe, so I think the next year in Asia we’re quite excited by the prospects of that growth coming in.
Q2: What’s the significance of the US sports announcement?
A2: Well, the first thing is that last week there was an announcement made by the Supreme Court about the opening of the market overall and that the significance for us is that we’ve been preparing for the US market opening for quite a while. You can’t just say we’ve got some software and we want launch in that market, you have to go through regulatory approvals and these things actually take a couple of years to get through background checks, get your software certified etc. and that’s on a state and potentially on a federal level as well so we’re very well placed.
The reason that we’re particularly delighted with the tie-up with Metric is that clearly, they’re very strong in sportsbook, we’re very strong in casino, we’ll both have sets of customers that we’ll be addressing as everyone knows in the online gaming space sports and casino go hand in hand. So, the customer, basically, gets a one-stop shop by coming to us with our business partnership with Metric which we think will be very compelling for a number of the larger operators.
Q3: You touched on traction earlier but when do you expect to see traction in the US and other markets?
A3: I think the point is we’ve scaled the European business in the last year and that will see reasonably good growth over the next year but really, we’re addressing Asia. I think during the latter part of 2018 and into 2019 that’s where we’ll see the significant growth opportunity for us in terms of revenues and then we really see the US being very interesting in 2020 and 2021.
So, really from our perspective, we see continued growth and as you layer in a very solid European business with the revenue from Asia and then that opportunity in the US 2-3 years out, you’ve got a significant growth opportunity with our business over the next 4-5 years.
Q4: If we just take it back a little bit, where do you see Nektan in 12 months’ time?
A4: I think what’ll be happening is that we will have scaled Asia and what we’ll be looking at doing is potentially additional markets on top of the US and clearly, the areas we maybe looking at are Latin America and Africa, once we’ve done that, we’ve really pretty much covered the entire globe. That’s really for commercial development to that point because we’ll really be looking at making sure that we deliver on this promise of our Asia business opportunity during the next 12 months.