Cyprus Mail

Ladbrokes owner Entain’s profit rises on online gambling growth

ladbrokes uk

Entain (ENT.L) rode the popularity of online betting during lockdowns to report higher annual core earnings on Thursday, but the British gambling firm refrained from paying shareholders a dividend.

Entain, which owns Ladbrokes and Coral betting shops as well as online brands such as bwin and partypoker, said its core earnings climbed 4.6 per cent to 881.7 million pounds ($1.18 billion) in 2021. Analysts on average had expected 874.4 million pounds, according to Refinitiv data.

Revenue from online net gaming jumped 12 per cent year-on-year.

The London-listed betting group, which had paused dividend payments last year due to uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic, said it would review the resumption of dividends at a later stage.

“As we start 2022 we see retail heading towards pre-COVID levels and online performing in line with expectations against tough prior year comparables,” Entain said in a statement.

Although Entain has enjoyed a boom in online gambling, the momentum has slowed, with online betting revenue falling in the final three months of 2021 after 23 quarters of double-digit growth.

Its latest results follow a year in which both US rival DraftKings (DKNG.O) and casino operator MGM made takeover approaches for Entain, though neither resulted in a deal.

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