Entain reports 12% growth in revenue for 2022
Underlying earnings rose by 13 per cent to £993m.
UK.- The FTSE 100-listed gambling operator Entain has reported revenue of £4.3bn for 2022, up 12 per cent year-on-year. Underlying earnings rose by 13 per cent to £993m, coming in towards the top of its guidance range.
Online revenue was down slightly despite a 7 per cent rise in active customers, but retail revenue rose by 66 per cent as operations bounced back following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Challenges came in the form of the company’s exit from the Netherlands (it’s since returned through its acquisition of BetCity in January), late reentry into the German market, a £17m penalty from the British Gambling Commission and affordability checks, which it calculates lost it £100m.
Entain declared group pre-tax operating profits of £321m, down 38 per cent due to losses of £193m at US joint venture BetMGM. However, Entain said it was confident in BetMGM’s long-term profitability. Last year also saw the launch of Entain CEE, focusing on new Eastern European and CIS markets.
Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Anderson said: “We made excellent financial, operational and strategic progress during 2022, and took significant strides towards our goal of being the global leader in betting, gaming and interactive entertainment.”
She added “In Germany, whilst our gaming licences were issued in late 2022, the German market is only just starting to experience the emergence of a robust regulatory regime, although there remains much for the regulator still to do.
“As such, the German online betting and gaming market remained challenging for compliant operators like us, whilst also seeing the introduction of deposit limits for sports customers. We look forward to 2023 with optimism and the expectation of greater regulatory oversight providing a more balanced trading environment and a safe and entertaining experience for all customers.”
MGM Resorts still interested in Entain, analysts say
Analysts have suggested that MGM Resorts may still make a bid for Entain. After rising by 50 per cent in three years, the UK-listed gambling company’s share price is down by around 15 per cent in the last month.
Lara Martinez, an analyst at Third Bridge, said that observers suspect MGM “might still harbour some interest in acquiring Entain but it will be waiting on the UK’s white paper before making a decision”. The gambling white paper was due a year ago but has been repeatedly delayed by changes in the UK government.
Martinez added that Entain was “facing mounting investor pressure” and tougher player protection regulations in Europe, which made business opportunities in America “look much brighter”. Nebraska and Maine are expected to launch regulated markets by the second half of the year, with Georgia, Kentucky, and Minnesota also possible.
Entain and MGM’s joint venture, BetMGM, saw net gaming revenue rise by 781 per cent to US$1.4bn (£1.2bn) out of the group total of £4.35bn last year. Although it contributed a £194m loss to net income, it’s expected to turn EBITDA-positive in the second half of the year, with a long-term target EBITDA margin of 30-35 per cent. Entain expects it to generate net gaming revenue of US$1.8-$2bn this year.