BUSINESS

Unibet enjoys “all-time high” Q1 thanks to sports betting

TAGs: kambi sports solutions, Unibet

unibet-profitsOnline gambling operator Unibet posted “all-time high” revenue and profit figures in Q1, thanks to a stellar performance in the company’s sports betting vertical. Revenue over the first three months of 2014 rose 14% to £67.6m and would have risen 21% were it not for unfavorable currency exchange rates. The Malta-licensed firm’s earnings rose 24.5% to £21.3m while operating profit increased by one-third to £16.6m.

Unibet’s sports betting turnover rose 4.5% year-on-year but revenue grew 25% to £31.7m as margins hit 8%. All but £3.5m of the sports revenue came from Unibet’s key markets in Western Europe and the Nordic countries. In-play betting accounted for 45% of all sports wagers while mobile devices generated 31% of Unibet’s overall revenue.

Casino revenue rose 8% to £30.6m, while poker fell 44% to just under £2m, although the company says the mid-February launch of its new poker software has allowed it to “grow the active player base during an industry wide decline.” Other revenue was up 64% to £3.3m.

The number of active customers at the end of Q1 was up 12.5% to 552k. Nordic countries accounted for 48% of Unibet’s overall revenue, the first time that number has dipped below 50%. The next biggest chunk (39%) of revenue comes from Western Europe, with 9% coming from other European regions and ‘other’ jurisdictions adding 4%.

Unibet is warning that its Q2 reports will be affected by a couple factors, including a Swedish customer hitting a €2.9m Mega Fortune pooled slots jackpot earlier this month. The jackpot represented a new record payday issued by Unibet’s female-friendly Maria.com brand. April also saw Unibet announce it would “temporarily close” new customer registrations from Russia for all its brands, the latest in a horde of companies fleeing Vladimir Putin’s backyard after the country added 50-plus names – including Unibet – to its online gambling blacklist in March.

Assuming the move is approved by shareholders next month, Unibet intends to sell its 95% stake in the Kambi Sports Solution B2B division, which counts 888 and Paf among its clients. Unibet’s next earnings report will include proceeds from Kambi up until the date the separation is completed. So far in April, sports betting turnover is up 18% and casino revenue is up 15%.

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