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Online growth helps Entain record 2021 revenue increase

| By Nosa Omoigui
Sports betting operator Entain has recorded revenue of £3.83bn ($5.12bn/€4.63bn) for 2021, representing a 7.6% increase on the previous year.
Entain BetCity

Online revenue of £3.01bn was the biggest contributor to the total, up by 12.3% from 2020. The operator said it was able to capitalise on fans returning to live sports venues after the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in the UK where online net gaming revenue (NGR) increased 12.0%.

Targeted marketing campaigns, such as ads aimed at football fans and sponsoring the TV show First Dates, combined with product investment such as the Ladbrokes 5-a-side platform helped aid growth in the UK online sector.

In Italy, NGR increased 31.0% across the Eurobet, Bwin and Gioco Digitale brands. This was boosted by new products such as new NBA game footage, pre-match football player markets and 300 new casino games in Eurobet.

A total of £791.1m came from the retail sector, down 8.0% from 2020. Covid-19 restrictions were a major factor, as national lockdowns and venue closures meant Entain’s entire estate remained closed during the first quarter of the year.

Retail shops across Italy, Belgium and Ireland were also closed for much of the first half of the year. They opened up incrementally between May and June, although they were operating under heavy restrictions.

Revenue from other segments of Entain’s business, such as B2B operations, came to £32.8m for the year.

Georgraphically, the largest portion of Entain’s revenue – £1.75bn – came from the UK, while Italy’s contribution was £392.4m. The rest of Europe had revenue of £966.2m, up slightly from the £962.9m recorded in 2020.

Australia brought in revenue of £458.1m, up from £383.3m the year prior. Revenue from the rest of the world came to £258.8m.

In terms of expenses, Entain’s cost of sales increased to £1.39bn from £1.25bn in 2020. Administrative costs totaled £1.92bn, while adminstrative costs excluding marketing were £1.33bn.

Operating profit for the year came to £355.8m. After accounting for finance expenses of £82.9m, £118.2m gains from financial and debt instruments, £2.1m finance income, income tax of £117.6m, and £14.9m losses from discontinued operations, Entain’s net profit was £260.7m in 2021 – a massive 228.3% increase on the previous year.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to £881.7m, an increase of 4.6%.

The growth of joint venture BetMGM helped drive revenue in North America. The brand went live across nine states, such as New York, Arizona, and Ohio. BetMGM maintained a 29% market share in igaming and an 18% market share in sports betting by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021.

Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen said: “Our full-year results demonstrate yet again that Entain is a business with growth built into its business model. Our strong performance is underpinned by the Entain platform which encompasses the compelling combination of our proprietary technology, our outstanding people around the world and our industry-leading operational capabilities.

“Given the quality of our people, the ongoing broad-based growth of the business, its continuing momentum, and the investments that we are making in innovation to support our future expansion, we remain confident in our financial performance for FY22 and beyond.”

During 2021, Entain completed the acqusition of Avid Gaming in a CAD$300m deal, and it also acquired the esports assets of Unikrn.

Meanwhile, a potential takeover of Entain from DraftKings eventually fell through in October 2021 after both parties failed to reach an agreement.

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