Entain nets FY2021 profit rise against heavy retail drags

Entain Plc has branded 2021 as another transformative year for its business that has expanded its global brand portfolio to service 31 regulated/regulating markets.   

Publishing its full-year 2021 results, the company registered group net revenues of £3.88 billion, up 7% on corresponding FY2020 results of £3.63 billion.

Headline performance saw its online portfolio declare a ‘ninth consecutive year of double-digit growth’ registering an NGR increase of 12% to £3.06 billion (FY2020: £2.75bn).

Entain’s sportsbook unit recorded a 21% increase in NGR to £1.44 billion, outperforming FY2020 COVID-influenced results of £1.19 billion. Of note, Entain underlined continued sportsbook growth within the saturated markets of the UK (+10%) and Italy (+30%).

Bolstering its European sportsbook portfolio, the firm underscored the new additions of leading Baltic operator Enlabs (+49% NGR) and Bet.pt, with both newcomers performing ‘above expectations’.

Meanwhile, trading against a tougher European regulatory backdrop, Entain’s Gaming portfolio registered a 4% NGR increase of £1.59 billion (FY2020: £1.53bn) as unit performance was dragged down by end-of-year Dutch market restrictions and German casino platform adjustments.

The online unit declared a FY2021 underlying EBITDA of £899 million, up 12% on FY2020 results of £803 million.

Accounting for increased operating costs of £394 million (FY2020: £342m), Entain’s online portfolio yielded FY2021 profits of £776 million, up 14% on FY2020 results of £680 million.

“Entain is a business with growth built into its business model,” commented Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Group CEO of Entain Plc.

“Our strong performance is underpinned by the Entain platform which encompasses the compelling combination of our proprietary technology, our outstanding people around the world, and our industry-leading operational capabilities.

“It is this unique platform that enables us to deliver an ever-improving customer experience, to embrace emerging consumer and technological trends, and to grow into new markets and product areas. All of our major markets have performed well.”

Online growth continued to offset the struggles of Entain’s European retail division which was hindered by a further year of COVID-19 national lockdowns and venue restrictions applied across the UK, Italy and Belgium.

Retail NGR was registered at £791 million, down 8% on corresponding FY2020 results of £857 million.

Burdened by H1 closures, Entain maintained Unit operating costs of £447 million as its retail division saw losses of £37 million for FY2021 year trading.

The FTSE100 business’ Ladbrokes and Coral retail unit had also taken the decision to repay £44 million received under the UK COVID-19 furlough scheme.

Continuing to match consecutive headline growth results, Entain achieved a FY2021 gross profits increase to £2.43 billion (FY2020: £2.3bn).

Yet, year trading accounted for £952 million in group-wide operating costs which saw FY2021 underlying profits from operations dip to £484 million, down 9% on FY2020 results of £530 million.    

Entain maintained positive bottom-line results as group profit after tax was declared at £275 million, up 142% on FY2020 results of £113 million.

Closing its 2020 accounts, the FTSE group’s underlying cashflow stands at £537 million with a corporate net debt of  £2 billion reflecting a x-2.4 leverage.

On the outlook Nygaard-Andersen added: “The group has delivered strong results in FY2021, reflecting both the diversified nature of our business model, the strength of our platform and the quality of our people.”

“As we start 2022 we see retail heading towards pre-Covid levels and online performing in line with expectations against tough prior year comparables. As global economies steadily emerge from the impact of the pandemic, we continue to provide our customers with great products and experiences.”

“As a result, we remain confident in our financial performance for 2022 as well as our long-term prospects.”

 

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