International betting firm BlueBet has outlined its corporate priorities for 2H23 after experiencing a slight lull in both revenue and profits during the first half of the financial year.
Issuing an update this week for trading during 1H23 (1 July – 31 December 2022), the Australian operator reported revenues of $36.2m, down slightly, although relatively steady, on corresponding 1H22 figures of $36.4m.
The biggest variance was seen in profit and EBITDA, however – gross profit fell by 10.7% from $14.6m to $13m, whilst EBITDA plummeted further into negative figures, down from a loss of $151,000 to $10.4m.
Although BlueBet’s total turnover rose marginally by 6.1% from $264.5m in H122 to $280.5m, the firm noted that declines in operating profit and EBITDA had offset this achievement.
Total profit after income tax also fell further into negative figures to a loss of $9.9m, down from negative $775,000 the year prior, with earnings impacted by an investment heavy year which drove expenses.
Central to this, however, has been the firm’s launch in the US, which generated expenses of $3.7m, spread primarily across employee headcount costs of $2.1m and a $900,000 marketing budget.
BlueBet asserts that with mobile sports betting now legal in 19 states and its ClutchBet platform now live in Iowa, it is in a prime position to further roll out its stateside strategy.
The group has put its faith in a ‘hyperlocal’ marketing approach for the country, having opened lounges in Dubuque, North Liberty and Iowa City and partnered with the minor league hockey team Dubuque Fighting Saints of the US Hockey League.
As well as Iowa, BlueBet has also taken its platform live in Indiana, Colorado and Louisiana, slated as being the ‘phase one’ of its North American expansion plans.
Additionally, the group has cited an increase in its total customer base across its different markets by 33.8% to 60,328, which it states has helped drive its market share in Australia despite facing tough competition against established brands.
After an investment heavy start to FY23, the bookmaker expects ‘mid-way’ completion of development on its BlueBet Global lPlatform, which it states will allow for ‘centralisation of many functions to drive efficiency’ and provide a basis for scaling in Australia and the US.
Notably, 1H23 also saw the firm engage in external investments, putting US$500,000 into UK sports gamification company Low6, seeking to leverage ‘new and innovative’ products, in particular free-to-play (FTP) offerings.
Launching its own FTP product via its arrangement with Low6 is one of the firm’s main priorities going into 2H23, alongside returning its Australian business to positive cash flow and continuing to grow and differentiate market share.
In the US, the company aims to adopt HyperLive microlive betting functionalities and continue investing in its hyperlocal approach, whilst on a group-wide level BlueBet has stated an interest in a sportsbook-as-a-solution offering.