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Retail return drives revenue up 31% at Entain in Q1

| By Robert Fletcher
Entain reported a 31% year-on-year increase in net gaming revenue for the first quarter of its 2022 financial year, primarily due to the return of its retail operations following the removal of almost all novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions.
Entain Q1

In a trading update, Entain said revenue from its retail operations across the UK, Ireland, Italy and Belgium for the three months to 31 March was more than 1,000% higher than in the same period last year.

During the first quarter of 2021, Entain faced a host of restrictions in each of these markets as governments and authorities sought to slow the spread of Covid-19. However, with these measures having been significantly relaxed, retail operations have returned to near-normal.

However, online net gaming revenue for the quarter was down 8% year-on-year, with online sports revenue falling 7% and wagers also down 7%, while online gaming revenue slipped 10%.

This, Entain said, was in line with expectations and attributed the decline to strong comparators in the previous year, when many players turned to online as retail locations were closed or faced heavy restrictions.  

Despite the declines in online, Entain noted particular success within the BetMGM North American joint venture with MGM Resorts International, saying the brand continued to go from “strength to strength” during Q1.

Entain said BetMGM is now active in 24 markets following launches in New YorkIllinois, and Puerto Rico in Q1 and Ontario in Canada shortly after the end of the quarter.

BetMGM also holds a 24% market share across all of the areas in which it operates, with this share at 29% for igaming, while it is on track to reach positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) by 2023.

Meanwhile, BetMGM noted that it continued the expansion of its ARC responsible gambling initiative, with player protection trials taking place in more international markets, while it became a founding partner of the new Global Gaming Alliance to promote higher standards and safeguards in the global gaming industry.

In addition, towards the end of the quarter, Entain announced it had reduced its median hourly gender pay gap for 2021 from 7.1% to 5.3%, a figure that it noted was just over a third of the UK’s national average.

“We have started the year with a good performance across all areas of our business, driven as ever by the strength of our industry-leading platform,” Entain’s chief executive Jette Nygaard-Andersen said. “We have delivered strong performances in all of our major markets, and I am pleased to report that retail is performing well with customers returning for our instore experience.

“In the US, BetMGM is firmly established as the number two operator, and our market launches during Q1 mean that we now have access to over 41% of the US adult population. Elsewhere, our strategy of expanding into new markets is continuing at pace, having acquired businesses in Canada, Latvia and Poland during Q1.”

The successful first quarter came after Entain posted a 7.6% increase in revenue to £3.83bn (€4.59bn/$5.01bn) for its 2020 financial year, during which net profit also rocketed 228.3% to £260.7m.

Shortly after this, Entain announced that it was to target growth in new markets, with a particular emphasis on Canada and Brazil, in order to build on its full-year success.

“As a growing business we continue to invest in and build our business around our customers to provide them with the best experiences while also capturing the many opportunities ahead,” Nygaard-Andersen said.

“Given the strength and continuing momentum of our underlying business, coupled with our proven ability to grow both organically and through M&A, we remain confident in our financial performance for FY22 and beyond.”

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