Coral betting shops owner Entain enjoys spike in revenue

Coral bookies owner Entain enjoyed a hike in first-quarter revenue, boosted by a rebound in its retail betting shops and an expansion of its US joint venture.

But slipped on Thursday as online sales fell for the second straight quarter.

The London-listed gambling company, which also owns Ladbrokes and the bwin and partypoker online brands, said total net gaming revenue jumped 31 per cent for the three months to 31 March, despite an 8 per cent drop in online revenues.

Revenue: Coral betting shops owner Entain enjoyed a hike in first-quarter revenue

Revenue: Coral betting shops owner Entain enjoyed a hike in first-quarter revenue

Gambling firms profited during the lockdowns as stay-at-home punters went online for entertainment, but demand has slowed since economies reopened and people ventured out again, with inflation worries also weighing on consumer spending.

Many firms, including Entain, are turning to the US market as it opens up to sports betting. 

Entain’s US joint venture with MGM Resorts, BetMGM, is now live in 23 markets with four new additions in the period.

Entain ‘s boss Jette Nygaard-Andersen said: ‘In the US, BetMGM is firmly established as the number two operator, and our market launches during Q1 mean that we now have access to over 41 per cent of the US adult population.’

BetMGM is expected to turn a core profit this year compared to a loss a year ago on revenues of more than $1.3billion, Entain said in January.

Entain, previously known as GVC, has withheld dividend payments in the past two years, and last month said it would use excess cash on acquisitions.

In January it revealed it was considering developing products for virtual reality systems.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: ‘Entain has since continued to reap the benefits of the ongoing JV with MGM through BetMGM, which has jumped to second place in terms of market share in those places where it operates. 

‘In addition, this part of the business is now expected to turn earnings positive next year after another period of strong growth.

‘The failure of the bid approaches has held back Entain in terms of share price appreciation, where an increase of 3 per cent over the last year compares to a gain of 10 per cent for the wider FTSE100. 

‘While the sector is swimming against a rising tide of regulation in the UK, the potential for success in the burgeoning US market has appealed to many of the larger UK players, with BetMGM being Entain’s entry point and the provider of an increasing presence. 

‘With this in mind, prospects for Entain are extremely positive should the rate of success continue on both sides of the pond, and the market consensus of the shares as a strong buy underlines this optimism.’

were down 3.15 per cent or 51.00p to 1,570.50p this afternoon. 

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