August 07, 2014

“Significant new all-time high” activity during World Cup boosts Unibet profit

Online gambling operator Unibet enjoyed a serious boost in Q2 profits as the 2014 FIFA World Cup pushed sports betting revenue up 40%. Unibet’s figures for the three months ending June 30 are complicated, given the spinoff of its Kambi Sports Solution B2B offering into a separate unit, which was completed on May 31 and added a non-cash net gain of £35.3m. An additional £2.2m in deferred consideration from Unibet’s 2012 acquisition of Australian operator Betchoice was recorded as a non-recurring contribution, as Unibet no longer considers the payment necessary.

Stripping aside the impact from those one-off items, Unibet’s Q2 earnings rose 38% to £16.7m as revenue rose 24% to £77.1m. (Including those one-off gains, Unibet’s Q2 profit topped £53.7m.) Active customer ranks swelled more than a third from Q1 to over 610k, producing what CEO Henrik Tjärnstöm called “a significant new all time high in customer activity.”

The World Cup contributed £16m of Unibet’s £31.9m in overall Q2 sports betting revenue. Mobile wagering accounted for 47% of sportsbook revenue while live betting generated 64.6% of turnover and 43.2% of revenue. More than half (£16.2m) of total sports betting revenue came via Western European markets, which nearly doubled year-on-year. Unibet’s Nordic markets rose 22% to £12.2m, while central, eastern and southern European markets fell 21% to £2.6m and other markets fell 25% to £0.9m.

Casino, poker and other games revenue grew 15% to £45.2m. Nordic markets rose 6% to £24.8m, western Europe rose 30% to £14.4m, with the rest of Europe gaining 17% to £4.1m and other markets rising 58% to £1.9m. Casino & Games revenue grew 19% to £37.5m and other revenue rose 28% to £6m, leaving poker as the only vertical to post a year-on-year decline, falling 45% to £1.7m. However, the company says it’s seeing positive trends as it adjusts to its new life as a standalone network-independent recreational poker model.

In the month-plus since June 30, Unibet says average daily revenue is up 7% over the Q2 average, although the company noted that an extremely fortunate punter won a €5.8m pooled jackpot on July 4 playing the Mega Fortune slot.

Meanwhile, Unibet’s former in-house sportsbook Kambi also enjoyed starting its independent life in a World Cup quarter, recording a 97% revenue gain to £9.5m. Profits were a modest £0.4m as H1 expenses increased by £2.3m, mostly based on a swelling payroll that now covers over 340 names across four countries. Kambi clients include 888 Holdings and recent signings 32Red and IveriaBet, the online offering of Georgian land-based Casino Iveria.

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