Ladbrokes owner Entain sees profits skyrocket thanks to online betting

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Ladbrokes owner Entain sees profits skyrocket as online betting and busy sporting schedule outweigh losses from store closures

  • Its first half profits soared to £ 90.9million from £ 22.4million in the same period last year
  • Actor Mark Wahlberg ran an advertising campaign for Ladbrokes in Australia
  • Operator Foxy Bingo’s net online gaming revenue jumped by more than a quarter










Ladbrokes owner Entain more than quadrupled his profits thanks to higher levels of online betting and a full sports calendar that included the Euro 2020 football tournament.

Profits soared to £ 90.9million in the first six months of 2021, from £ 22.4million in the same period last year, as strong digital trading helped offset the adverse effects of store closings on retail sales.

The company even said that the longer-than-expected duration of the lockdown restrictions boosted its online activities, as the sport continued as people had to stay home and net gaming revenue increased by more than 10%. ‘a quarter to reach £ 1.59 billion.

Sporting occasion: Events like the Aintree Grand National, Euro 2020 and the Cheltenham Festival have helped Entain’s games net revenue rise by more than a quarter to £ 1.59 billion

Its UK business has benefited from hosting canceled sporting events last year, such as the Aintree Grand National, as well as the release of new products like the Ladbrokes 5 betting game.

But he also said his new acquisitions, Bet-pt in Portugal and Baltic-based Enlabs, have worked very well, as has his Australian division which hired Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg to run an advertising campaign.

However, operator Foxy Bingo has been badly hit in Germany by new taxes and sports licensing regulations to tackle problem gambling, and its NGR in the country has fallen by about a third.

Entain shares closed down 1.2 percent at 1,942.5 pence on Thursday.

In contrast, Entain’s joint venture in the United States, BetMGM, continued to benefit from the growing deregulation of sports gambling in the country following the United States Supreme Court ruling three years ago. to overturn a law that effectively prohibited such activity.

After launching sports betting in three other states, Virginia, Iowa and Michigan, BetMGM is now present in 13 states from three at the start of 2020 and is expected to be 20 in total over the next 12 months.

The March Madness college basketball tournament brought in a record number of new customers for the joint venture in the first quarter, and it holds a 30 percent stake in iGaming in the United States.

American giant: Entain's American joint venture, BetMGM, has launched sports betting in three other states and now has the second largest market share of sports betting and iGaming in the United States

American giant: Entain’s American joint venture, BetMGM, has launched sports betting in three other states and now has the second largest market share of sports betting and iGaming in the United States

By comparison, overall retail revenues fell 46% to £ 191.3million, with the worst drop occurring in Italy where it plunged 90%, while it also fell by around two third in the Republic of Ireland and Belgium.

However, all of its establishments have reopened and since restrictions were relaxed in the UK, volumes have returned to 90% of their pre-pandemic levels.

Managing Director Jette Nygaard-Andersen said that “the quality and diversification of our business has enabled us to achieve our 22nd consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, while making excellent progress on our strategic priorities”.

“This performance is not only the result of our advanced technology, but also of the hard work and dedication of our talented teams of people around the world, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.”

Closures: Lockdown restrictions that forced Entain to close its stores for part of the period caused its retail revenue to fall 46% to £ 191.3million

Closures: Lockdown restrictions that forced Entain to close its stores for part of the period caused its retail revenue to fall 46% to £ 191.3million

FTSE 100, which also owns Coral and the online Sportingbet brand, predicts underlying profits for the full year to be between £ 850 million and £ 900million due to the impressive results.

Despite this, Entain is not paying an interim dividend and does not plan to start rewarding investors until its annual results are released in March of next year, assuming the Covid-19 restrictions loosen further.

Laura Hoy, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Ultimately Entain’s results took on a positive tone, but easier comparisons from 2020 when sports were on hold added wind to the sails. of Entain.

“The group seems to be on a solid footing, but as the action is currently evaluated on perfection, we will need more evidence to be fully convinced.”

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