Cashing in: bumper year helps bet365 smash £2 billion mark
Bet365 have accelerated past another milestone after revenue from sports and gaming smashed the £2 billion barrier.
The gambling giant's latest report and financial statements reveal betting revenue grew by 39 per cent and operating profit by 15 per cent to £503.9 million in the last financial year.
Denise Coates, joint chief executive of the group with her brother John, said financial performance was helped by results from the Euro 2016 football tournament and a fall in the value of sterling.
She said the company's sports offering had benefited from the introduction of product enhancements like 'Edit My Bet' and 'Auto Cash Out', while additions to live streaming content, including US horseracing, had raised the number of sports events live-streamed on its platform to 140,000.
The amounts wagered on sports increased by 27 per cent, the number of active customers rose by 35 per cent, and the sports margin percentage experienced growth.
Coates said bet365's in-play product had again "performed strongly", representing 72 per cent of sports revenue in the period. Mobile sports product delivered revenue growth of 61 per cent and remained the most popular medium for sports betting.
As well as Britain, bet365 hold licences in Spain, Denmark, Italy, Gibraltar, Malta, Ireland, Australia, Bulgaria and Cyprus, and Coates said the company would continue to pursue licences in regulated markets.
"Given the group's experience in regulated markets it believes it is well placed to benefit long-term in those countries where sensible regulation is adopted," she said.
Staff numbers grew to 3,712, from 3,177 and this, plus increased remuneration for directors and managers who have been key to enabling bet365 to "consistently outperform its competitors", resulted in staff costs rising to £585.1m from £315.8m.
On Monday Ladbrokes Coral became the latest betting operator to be fined by the Gambling Commission for breaching regulations designed to protect consumers and Coates said bet365 "recognises its responsibility to minimise gambling-related harm and to keep crime out of gambling".
She added: "The group is committed to developing an evidence-based approach to responsible gambling. To this end, the group continues to work with research partners on a number of projects to improve its methods of identifying harmful play and deliver more effective harm-minimisation interventions.
"The group has also invested in the development of its own predictive algorithms in order to improve the accuracy and reach of existing measures.
"The scope and reach of bet365's predictive system has been expanded with the addition of new markers of potential harm. In addition, a refined set of harm-minimisation interventions has been developed."
Bet365 were sharing their experiences with industry partners to ensure best practice, said Coates.
A £50m donation was made to the group's charitable operation, the Denise Coates Foundation.
The group also owns Premier League football club Stoke City, which recorded a loss of £10.2m, compared to a profit of £8.5m in the previous financial year.
Bet365’s financial results in numbers
£2bn betting revenue
39 percentage growth in betting revenue
£503.9m operating profit
15 percentage increase in operating profit
140,000 sports events live-streamed
27 percentage increase in amounts wagered on sports
35 percentage rise in active customers
72 percentage of revenue generated by 'in-play' markets
61 percentage gowth in mobile betting - the firm's most popular medium
3,712 staff - up 535 year on year
£269.3m increase in staff costs
£50m donation to the Denise Coates Foundation
£10.2m loss made by group-owned Stoke City (compared to £8.5m profit in previous financial year)