Sky Bet grows revenue by 47%
Sky Betting & Gaming reported a 47 per cent leap in half year revenue after attracting 300,000 new customers. Sky Bet was the star performer with a 58 per cent jump in revenue to £210m, driven by a 29 per cent increase in betting stakes and favourable sports results.
A number of Premier League teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have drawn or lost a lot of games, which boosts the income for gambling firms. Sky Gaming revenue rose 31 per cent to £117m. The Leeds-based group said revenue jumped from £230m to £339m in the six months to December 28.
Earnings nearly doubled from £62m to £118m after total customer numbers rose 19 per cent to 2.0 million from 1.7 million. The group created 230 net jobs, mainly at its Yorkshire base. Some 80 per cent of the business is based in Leeds and the group now employs 1,350 people.
Richard Flint, CEO of Sky Betting & Gaming, said: “Yorkshire has been a fantastic place to grow the business. We have got a great team.” He said the growth in customer numbers reflects an ongoing trend from retail to online. “People are doing more online rather than in shops. We are a very strong tech business and the Sky brand has helped us,” he added.
The firm said it continued to perform “very well” in the first half of 2017/18. “Our focus on the customer, and delivering quality experiences, offers and promotions continues to differentiate our brand and we extended our lead as the UK’s most popular online betting brand,” said Mr Flint.
The firm has improved its range of markets, products and offers, with more betting options and over 20 exclusive new games launched on its gaming brands. Investment in data science is delivering greater customer personalisation, with the home page tailored towards the individual, and recommended games and bet options are delivering relevant and appealing content.
Mr Flint said the group has launched a fully integrated safer gambling campaign and it has increased the investment in research, data analysis and capability to provide a safe and responsible gambling environment for customers. During the industry’s annual ICE show, he outlined a four-point plan to harness technology and customer data to try to reduce harm. ”We support a mandatory research levy, and increased regulation from the Gambling Commission to protect customers that are at risk,” said Mr Flint.
“We also extended our headline sponsorship of the English Football League for an additional five years, taking it through to the 2023/24 season, with responsible gambling at the heart of the agreement.
“We are proud of our record of job creation and investment in Yorkshire, with an additional 230 jobs created in the period, as well as our contribution to regional and national taxation.”
A report by WPI Economics estimates that the firm contributed over £300m gross value added to the Yorkshire economy in 2016/17, and the group plans to continue investing in the region. “During the period, we continued to export our success, with the launch of our second international business Sky Bet Deutschland for German sports betting customers,” said Mr Flint.
”This business aims to provide the same quality of user experience, range of bets and simplicity to German customers that our UK and Italian customers have come to expect from us. ”We have just enjoyed our busiest ever Cheltenham, with bet volumes peaking at just over 300 bets per second, so with strong momentum in the first half of the year, we will maintain our focus on investment in talent and technology, delivering innovative and quality products and offers to our customers, leaving us confident that we can deliver further growth.”