Mobile growth helps offset retail closures for Camelot

Camelot’s mobile lottery sales increased by 50.7 per cent in H1.
Camelot’s mobile lottery sales increased by 50.7 per cent in H1.

The UK National Lottery operator saw revenue fall by just 1.7 per cent year-on-year for H1.

UK.- Camelot has reported sales of £3.85bn for the six months ending September 26, down by just 1.7 per cent on the same period last year.

Numbers largely held steady over a period impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with growth in mobile sales helping to almost entirely offset the drop in retail sales.

Digital lottery sales increased by 39.1 per cent year-on-year, much of that due to a 50.7 per cent rise in mobile sales to £1.13bn. The operator saw 1.3 million new digital player registrations in the period. 

Retail sales meanwhile fell by 30.5 per cent to £2.23bn, but picked up in the second quarter as the UK’s initial lockdown measures were eased.

Camelot donated £863.7m to good causes in the period, down by 1.5 per cent year-on-year. It says it has donated more than £800m to causes that help efforts related to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Camelot chief executive Nigel Railton said: “Like most other businesses, we’ve faced a lot of upheaval and challenges this year.

“At the start of April, we found ourselves in an unprecedented situation with a sharp decline in sales, retail uncertainty and our EuroMillions game in jeopardy, as some of our partner countries were under strict lockdowns. 

“To add to this, we had to move overnight to the vast majority of our employees working from home – so we’re enormously proud of this set of results.”

The operator expects sales to continue under pressure for the rest of its financial year. 

Railton said: “With the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and recessionary headwinds, the second half of the year will, no doubt, be very challenging and indeed this disruption could extend further into 2021/22.

“So, while there are no guarantees that we’ll finish the year in as strong a place as we ended the first half, we’ll continue to focus on our strategy for long-term, responsible growth – adapting our plans as necessary according to the circumstances.”

The British Gambling Commission will make a decision next year on the next licence to run the UK’s National Lottery. Camelot is facing competition from Sazka and from Sugal & Daman.

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