Unibet Group's share price jumps five per cent as online gambling firm lays down huge profits in first quarter

Francesca Washtell
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Unibet offers online casino and sports betting games (Source: Getty)

The share price of European online gambling hub Unibet jumped five per cent today after it announced an almost doubling of profit before tax and a 400,000 jump in users.

The figures

Unibet's profit before tax for the first quarter almost doubled, reaching £22.5m, up from £11.3m in the first quarter of 2015.

The company recorded an new all-time high in gross winnings revenue of £122.4m, up 61 per cent from £76.1m last year. Gross winnings revenue was up by 58 per cent in constant currency terms.

Gross winnings revenue in the Nordic region grew by 58 per cent, while Western Europe grew by 63 per cent. However, in both regions organic growth in constant currency terms was approximately 40 per cent.

Net cash generated from operating activities increased by around 90 per cent to £314.4m (up from £16.6m).

The number of active customers at the end of the first quarter edged above one million, up from just over 600,000 in the same period of last year.

Listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm, Unibet's shares jumped by over five per cent.

Unibet Group (SEK) Unibet Group (SEK) | mobile image

Why it's interesting

Unibet's online offerings of sports and casino betting stands it in good stead in the current betting market.

A recent report from Moody's said that despite the pressure from increasing taxes and regulation, online gaming markets are the most likely source of growth for gambling firms over the next few years.

Online gaming markets, according to Moody's, are expected to grow to approximately €42.8bn by 2018, up from €36.9bn in 2014.

Earlier this year in the UK, bookies were hit by the first full-year implementation of the point-of-consumption tax, which charges 15 per cent on online gambling profits.

Unibet holds local gambling licences in several European countries, including the UK, France, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and Romania, as well as Australia, and holds international gambling licences in Malta, Gibraltar and Alderney.

What Unibet said

Chief executive Henrik Tjarnstrom said:

Unibet Group’s growth continued to develop strongly in the first quarter, with an increase of gross winnings revenue in GBP of 61 per cent and 58 per cent in constant currency compared to the first quarter last year. This is again significantly higher growth than the overall market and indicates that we are continuing to take market share across the board.

In the period up to 24 April 2016, average daily gross winnings revenue has increased by approximately 50 per cent compared to the same period in 2015, despite lower sports betting margins. Excluding iGame Group & Stan James Online the organic increase is well over 20 per cent in constant currency.

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