Entain to review brands and units after reporting £879m loss

Revenue was up 11 per cent but its preferred prosecution agreement contributed to corporate losses.
Revenue was up 11 per cent but its preferred prosecution agreement contributed to corporate losses.

Revenue was up 11 per cent but its preferred prosecution agreement contributed to corporate losses.

UK.- Entain has reported full-year post-tax corporate losses of £879m after reserving £600m for a deferred prosecution agreement with the UK Crown Prosecution Service over historic failings. The company has announced plans to evaluate its portfolio of brands as well as capital allocation and operating structures.

The company says it has created a Capital Allocation Committee to review markets, brands and verticals “to help focus the organization, improve competitive positions, and maximize shareholder value.” It also noted that the new British online casino spin limits could affect results this year. Its Project Romer aims to mitigate the impact by achieving £70m in net run rate cost savings.

Results were in line with expectations, with an 11 per cent rise in gaming revenue to £4.83bn. The US joint venture BetMGM did particularly well, with a 36 per cent rise. Group underlying EBITDA was £1bn, up 1 per cent.

Total online gaming revenue was £3.36bn, up 12 per cent, but when the US is removed from the equation pro format online revenue was down 3 per cent, with a 6 per cent drop in the UK as well as in Australia, 14 per cent drop in Brazil and a 26 per cent decline in Germany. Retail net gaming revenue rose 8 per cent to £1.38bn on the back of acquisitions in New Zealand and Poland.

The company said: “During 2023, we managed regulatory changes in several of our larger markets, impacting our headline organic performance. The most notable were the implementation of ever-tightening UK affordability measures and the persistent lack of impactful regulatory oversight in Germany. We estimate the aggregate of regulatory impacts was a negative 6 percentage point headwind to Online NGR performance in 2023.”

Chairman Barry Gibson said: “2023 was a period of necessary, but ultimately positive, transition for Entain. We have significantly strengthened the quality of our revenue base, enhanced our Board, and delivered a resolution to a critical, historic regulatory issue.”

Entain Interim CEO Stella David said: “2023 presented numerous challenges for the Group, both industry-wide and specific to Entain. Despite these challenges, Entain still managed to achieve overall revenue growth of 14%, including our US joint venture, which reached revenue at the top end of expectations.

“We are making commendable progress across various initiatives to refine our market portfolio, prioritize organic growth, increase our share in the US, and broaden our margins. With a laser focus on operational excellence and impeccable execution, we are confident that we are charting a course toward sustained growth. Our conviction in our continued, focused execution driving organic growth into 2025 and beyond remains unwavering.”

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