Ladbrokes owner boosted by high street bookies amid online slowdown

Entain said net gaming revenue increased by 31% for the three months to March 31 compared with the same period last year.

07 April 2022

Betting giant Entain has hailed a “strong start” to 2022 as rebounding sales from its high street bookies offset an online slowdown as pandemic restrictions relaxed.

The Ladbrokes and Coral owner said net gaming revenue increased by 31% for the three months to March 31 compared with the same period last year.

The firm said this was driven by its retail business, which was “up strongly year-on-year” due to Covid-19 closures a year earlier.

It said the high street arm has seen trading settle between 5% and 10% below pre-pandemic levels.

Online gaming revenues dipped 8% for the past quarter as it failed to keep up with a strong lockdown performance.

The group also reported an improvement in its BetMGM unit in the US as it continued to benefit from the expansion of relaxed sports betting regulations.

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Entain’s chief executive, said: “We have started the year with a good performance across all areas of our business, driven as ever by the strength of our industry-leading platform.

“We have delivered strong performances in all of our major markets and I am pleased to report that retail is performing well, with customers returning for our in-store experience.

“As a growing business, we continue to invest in and build our business around our customers to provide them with the best experiences whilst also capturing the many opportunities ahead.

“Given the strength and continuing momentum of our underlying business, coupled with our proven ability to grow both organically and through M&A (mergers and acquisitions), we remain confident in our financial performance for full-year 2022 and beyond.”

Elsewhere, gambling rival 888 has announced a bookbuild which will see it issue more than 70 million new shares to help finance its acquisition of William Hill’s European business.

888 confirmed on Thursday that it has agreed a reduced price of £1.95 billion to buy the William Hill business, which includes its UK betting shops, having previously sealed a £2.2 billion move last year.

The new price was agreed by US seller Caesars Entertainment and is set to be reviewed by the gambling watchdog.

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