Thursday 4 March 2021 9:09 am

Ladbrokes owner Entain back in black on rapid US growth

Ladbrokes owner Entain today swung back into the black as rapid growth from its US joint venture pushed revenue higher.

The FTSE 100 firm posted profit of £113.8m in 2020, compared with a loss of £131.2m the year before.

Read more: Ladbrokes owner Entain hikes Enlabs offer after shareholder resistance

Revenue and gross profit were both flat at £3.5bn and £2.3bn respectively, while earnings rose 10 per cent to £862.1m.

Despite the profit increase, the firm’s shares fell 1.9 per cent in the first hour of trading.

Entain said that BetMGM, its joint venture with MGM Resorts, had seen its market share grow 18 per cent across the 12 states in which it is now active in the US.

In January, the division was the number one “i-gaming” operator in the country. As a result, revenue came in at $178m, ahead of expectations.

Despite the return to profit, Entain declined to pay out a dividend this year, citing the “ongoing uncertainty” caused by Covid-19.

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Looking to 2021, the firm said that it had started the year with “good momentum” and was trading in line with expectations.

It is currently in the process of trying to buy Enlabs, a Swedish rival. Earlier this week it said that it was hiking its offer for the firm to £310m after shareholder resistance.

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, the recently appointed chief executive of Entain, commented: “Today’s results demonstrate the extraordinary resilience and professionalism of our people, as well as the importance of having a truly diversified business model that is not overly reliant on any one product, brand, territory, or channel. 

Read more: Entain doubles down on £250m Enlabs bid despite investor backlash

“The strong underlying momentum within our business, the rapid growth of our US joint-venture, and our continuing international expansion mean that we are as confident as ever in the long-term prospects for Entain.”