Online gambling operator Unibet hit another all-time revenue high in its Q3 results as mobile became the company’s dominant betting channel.
Revenue in the three months ending Sept. 30 was up 7% year-on-year to £86.1m although earnings fell 20% to £17.4m, which the company blamed on negative currency exchange rates and lower sports betting margins.
Sports betting turnover rose nearly one-quarter but margins slipped 1.5 points to 7.7%, limiting sports revenue to £38.9m, up 4% year-on-year. Casino & Games revenue improved 15% to £42.3m while poker tumbled 25% to £1.3m after posting a 12% gain in Q2. ‘Other’ revenue was also down, falling 23% to £2.7m.
Mobile wagering improved 47% year-on-year, growing to 51% of revenue, the first time mobile betting has topped the desktop share. The company says overall trading in the current quarter is up 30% in constant currency terms, despite lower sports margins in October.
Active customer ranks rose nearly 100k to 671k, with nearly 29k of that gain coming via the Q3 acquisitions of the iGame Group and Stan James Online. iGame contributed revenue of £700k during the final two weeks of Q3 while the Stan James acquisition was finalized too late in the quarter to contribute.
Unibet CEO Henrik Tjärnström told eGaming Review that the company hadn’t yet figured out what to do with its new Stan James operation, given Tjärnström’s belief that “it is enough to have one sports betting brand per market.” But it seems Unibet hasn’t quite figured out which brand it will choose to put forward in the UK.
Stan James Online owns its technology platform’s source code but Tjärnström said Unibet wanted to “reduce the number of tech platforms we operate as a group,” suggesting that Stan James Online would ultimately be migrated to Kambi Sports Solutions, Unibet’s former B2B arm, which was spun off into a standalone company last year.
It might seem daft for Unibet to have paid £19m for Stan James Online only to ditch its brand and technology, but Tjärnström claims the price will still have been worth it due to the team having “certain pockets of expertise in sports” that will enable Unibet to succeed in the Darwinian blood sport that is UK online sports betting.
KAMBI NEARLY TRIPLES PROFIT
Speaking of Kambi, the company reported Q3 revenue up 35% to a record €12.8m while profits shot up to €2.5m from €900k in the same period last year. Kambi CEO Kristian Nylén said the “strongest financial quarter” in Kambi’s history was all the more impressive given Q3’s lack of a marquee sporting tournament, unlike Q3 2014, which featured the second half of the FIFA World Cup.
Nylén said the 19% margin reported in Q3 (up from 10% last year) demonstrated the effectiveness of Kambi’s scalable business model and was borne out by the “exceptional performance” enjoyed by Kambi customers. Kambi clients include Unibet, 32Red and 888 Holdings and Nylén said Kambi was in “a number of advanced discussions” with potential new clients.