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Entain has unveiled its H1 2023 financial results alongside the explosive news it has set aside more than half a billion pounds for a potential regulatory settlement.

Topline numbers

The operator reported an 11% constant currency rise in overall NGR to £2.4bn for H1 2023.

Online revenue for the period rose by 12% to £1.7bn driven by a 19% uptick in online gaming revenue to £918.3m and a 3% increase in online sports betting revenue to £742.2m.

Retail revenue, meanwhile, climbed by 11% year-on-year to £709.3m.

These figures exclude the group’s US joint venture BetMGM, which reported separate results in July. The brand generated H1 NGR of $944m, up 55%.

Entain’s underlying EBITDA climbed 6% to £499.4m as underlying operating profit came in at £307.4m, up 25% compared to last year. Online EBITDA increased by 8% to £416m.

When broken down by geography, Italy reported the strongest online revenue growth at 12% year-on-year.

Georgia (7%) and the Baltics Nordics (7%) also reported growth, while declines were felt in other key markets such as the UK (-2%), Australia (-2%), Brazil (-14%) and Germany (-30%).

The decline in Germany was attributed to sports betting deposit limits from H2 2022 and gaming deposit limits from H1 2023, while Entain said a lack of regulatory enforcement has seen players switch to unlicensed operators in the market.

Finally, the operator reported a record level of online active customers in H1 following a 23% rise, or 15% excluding acquired businesses.

Entain said this was a continuing result of broadening its product offering for a more recreational customer base.

News nugget

Major news was announced alongside the H1 2023 financial results.

Entain is now braced for a £585m settlement in respect of its ongoing deferred prosecution agreement negotiations with the Crown Prosecution Service.

The operator is being investigated by HMRC over its legacy Turkey-facing business and has set aside the provision while seeking to resolve the matter.

The settlement relates to alleged offences under Section 7 of the 2010 Bribery Act.

“The Entain of today bears no resemblance to the GVC of yesterday, which had a different management team, different strategy and to be blunt, different standards,” said Entain chairman Barry Gibson.

“Every aspect of our business model strategy and culture has been reviewed, analysed and changed.

“We’ve also completely overhauled the board and the leadership team. And I’m not very confident in saying that the culture of the two businesses is worlds apart,” he added.

Current trading and outlook

Entain is now guiding to full-year 2023 EBITDA of between £1bn and £1.05bn.

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