Bet365 still a money-printing machine

bet365-annual-profits Online gambling operator Bet365 continues to set the pace for online excellence by reporting profits of £448m in its most recent fiscal year.

The privately held Stoke-based Bet365 isn’t required to turn in quarterly figures like its publicly traded competitors, so outside observers really only get one annual glimpse under Bet365’s hood. As usual, the numbers are generally staggering and increase the separation between the online-only Bet365 and its online-struggling, retail-reliant rivals.

For the year ending March 27, 2016, Bet365’s revenue rose 5% to £1.55b while profits improved 10% to £448m. Sports betting turnover rose 6% to £37b despite a tough comparison with the previous fiscal year, which included the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament.

Bet365’s in-play betting product accounted for 72% of sports revenue, down from 75% in 2014-15, despite mobile revenue rising 36% year-on-year. Bet365 declined to break out figures for its mobile casino product, but joint-CEO Denise Coates said mobile was “maturing into a significant platform.”

Active customer ranks rose 11% in 2015-16, as lifetime signups neared 23.1m. As the volume of customers increased, so did the number of employees plying their trade at Bet365’s Stoke headquarters, with total payroll rising 9% to 3,177.

As further evidence that when it rains, it pours, the Bet365-owned English Premier League football club Stoke City also had a banner year, posting an £8.5m profit versus a net loss of £232k in 2014-15, despite annual payroll rising £14.3m to £77.2m during the period.

Bet365 says it handed investment bankers Goldman Sachs a satchel containing £125m for investing in (presumably) something other than dodgy housing mortgage derivatives. Despite this outlay, Bet365 says it holds a cash reserve of £1.1b, leaving the company with lots of options for “future trading purposes” and/or buying Stoke outright.

In August, Coates was one of only five women to appear on Forbes’ 100 Richest in Tech list. Coates’ net worth was estimated at $3.8b, a $900m improvement from the previous year’s list.

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