Jette Nygaard-Andersen takes charge of Entain as new CEO

Entain 2022 growth dampened by flat online results

Entain Plc remains confident of its growth strategy and product diversification across new and established markets in 2023, after achieving broad revenue growth last year.

The FTSE100 international gambling group revealed this morning that in total it achieved revenue growth of 12% in 2022 to $4.3bn (2021: $3.8bn), driving a 11% uptick in gross profit to $2.7bn ($2.4bn).

Accompanying this rise in profit was EBITDA growth of 13% from £881.7bn to £993.2bn, although the group did acknowledge a slowdown in online revenue by 1%, which seemed to have largely been impacted by developments in the UK and Netherlands.

Having only secured re-entry into the Dutch online betting market in January 2023 via the BetCity acquisition and experiencing regulatory headwinds in the UK, Entain explained that if both markets were excluded, online NGR would have increased by 3%.

Revenue growth was achieved despite the group’s flat online GGR result of £3bn – as FY2022 sportsbook GGR stood at £1.44bn (0%), alongside a Gaming GGR of 1.57bn (-1%).

In comparison, the group’s retail performance continued to bounce back strongly from COVID-era difficulties with NGR up 62% to £1.3bn (£791m), attributed by the group to a post-lockdown recovery and ‘improved customer offer’ via betting terminals.

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.”

Flat online results were attributed to underlying Dutch marketing impacts and regulatory adjustments in the UK and Germany.  

Matched against tough like-for-like comparatives, online active customers grew by +7% as Entain continues to diversify its recreational customer base – a strategy boosted by five M&A transactions, including the launch of Entain CEE– a dedicated unit to advance the group in new Eastern European and CIS markets.

​​Statutory results saw Entain declare group operating profits (before tax) of £321m, registering a 38% decline on FY2021 results of £527m, which accounted for BetMGM operating losses of £193m.   

Entain remains confident in BetMGM’s long-term profitability despite its continued trading struggles in 2022, asserting that its US-facing joint venture with MGM Resorts is on track to be EBITDA positive in H2 2023.

The group projects BetMGM’s 2023 revenue to reach between $1.8bn and $2bn, whilst in 2022 NGR rose 71% year-on-year and the brand gained market share of 29% and 18% in the sports betting and igaming sectors respectively.

Back in Europe, despite an element of market uncertainty in the UK after consistent delays to the Gambling Act review White Paper and a £17m UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) regulatory penalty last summer, Entain asserts continued growth in the country.  SBC News Entain 2022 growth dampened by flat online results

In her assessment of the group’s 2022 performance, Nygaard-Anderson cited a 13% increase in active players, attributed to marketing initiatives which saw the number of visits to the Ladbrokes website rise by 75%. This in turn drove NGR up 56% year-on-year, and contributed heavily to the group’s retail recovery.

Challenges remain in Germany, however, as the market continues to stabilise following the launch of a new legislative framework for gambling in 2021 and introduction of a new regulator last year, although Entain’s CEO maintained faith in the long-term prospects of the group’s bwin holding.

Nygaard-Anderson explained: “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.”

This sentiment was echoed in Entian’s group-wide outlook, as the firm noted continued regulatory uncertainty across multiple jurisdictions – particularly in Europe – but remains confident in its product portfolio and diverse range of brands.

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