Unibet profits take a blow as it gambles on Spanish markets

City A.M. Reporter
SWEDISH gambling group Unibet reported a 55 per cent drop in profit yesterday, as it was stung by higher levies on the betting industry and a one-off payment to Spain’s tax authorities.

The company said revenue had risen to £43.8m in the three-month stretch to the end of September, up from £37.8m in the same period a year ago.

However, Unibet’s profits fell from £8.2m to £4m. This was partly due to the £2.6m payment that allowed it to enter Spain’s newly-regulated gambling market, and a fivefold rise in betting duties rose fivefold to £2.5m.

“Gross winnings revenues in the third quarter were impacted both by the late start of European football seasons and by the effect of translating results from European currencies into the stronger pound compared to the third quarter in 2011,” the company’s chief executive Henrik Tjärnström said.

Unibet, which spreads itself with a range of online sports betting, casino betting and poker games, saw a slight rise in active customers, up to 382,378.

As with other betting firms, Unibet was affected by the huge excitement around the Olympics, which encourages fewer wagers than other sporting events.

Tjärnström added that revenues were up 29 per cent in October.