bet365 grew profits by 21% to £110.6m last year as punters gambled close to £12.4bn with the online betting and gaming group.
The privately owned company’s pre-tax profit would however have been even higher in the 52 weeks to 25 March 2012 had it not been for a £5.8m loss on its ownership of English Premier League football team Stoke City, where wages increased to £51.9m from £48.3m.
The stellar performance of the Stoke-headquartered company, where the £12.4bn wagered was a massive 45% higher than the £8.5m gambled the prior year, saw founder and 50.1% shareholder Denise Coates CBE receive a £20.1m dividend during the period, with brother John awarded £10m, according to accounts filed at Companies House last week.
bet365 also commented that operating profit had grown to £114.6m from £97.3m, “despite incurring additional costs in relation to newly regulated markets, along with the group’s continued high investment levels in the period.”
In the company’s core sports betting product, revenues were up by close to 50%, driven by a 60% rise in amounts wagered in-play.
In gaming, including casino, poker and bingo, revenues were up 47% , with yield and per active player up by more than 20% driven by strong casino and games performance, with the company highlighting that “[c]asino continued to benefit from the live dealer products”.
In poker, “revenues showed encouraging growth at over 15%”, with the company saying that the ring-fencing of all poker tables up to $0.50 to bet365 players in July 2011 had resulted “in increases in turnover for these tables, and [enabled] ‘recreational’ players to play longer with their money, with consequential increases for rake.”
Bingo NGR increased by over 30% on the previous period, helped by the launch of the new bingo site and ongoing TV advertising campaigns, including the sponsorship of ITV1 soap Emmerdale, which it took over from Tombola in March of this year.
Article written by Stephen Carter