Swedish-based operator Unibet generated gross winnings of £16m during the World Cup, according to the firm’s interim results, with £9.5m generated in June and £6.5m in July.
Almost half of Unibet’s turnover during the World Cup came from live betting, a figure much lower than the operator’s usual operations. While Unibet had a comprehensive pre-match offer with over 350 bet offers on every single match in the World Cup tournament, it significantly ramped up its live betting product, with well over 200 bet offers to play on during a regular 90 minute match.
The total turnover for the World Cup was over £112m of which live betting was over £51m. However for the second quarter as a whole, Live betting accounted for 64.6 per cent of turnover on sports betting (down from 67.5%) and 43.2 per cent of gross winnings on sports betting (down from 51.6%).
Gross winnings revenue increased by 24 per cent to £77.1m for the second quarter of 2014 for the whole group and amounted to £153.6m for the first half year 2014. Gross winnings revenue for sports betting amounted to £31.9m (up from £22.8m) for the second quarter. For the first half of the year, gross winnings revenue for sports betting increased from £49.0m to £64.8m.
Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Unibet, commented: “The quarter was characterised by the 2014 World Cup which provided a significant new all time high in customer activity and continued strong organic growth. Gross winnings revenue increased 33 per cent in local currencies which means that we are continuing to gain market shares. Of the gross winnings revenue 29 per cent was from locally regulated markets.
“Our continued focus on efficiency meant that, despite significantly increased marketing investments, underlying EBITDA for the second quarter increased by 38 per cent and earnings per share by 47 per cent.”
He added: “The mobile channel accounted for 32 per cent of the total gross winnings revenue and 47 per cent of gross winnings revenue in the sportsbook. Strong growth in mobile casino contributed to a new all-time high in Casino revenues and helped to strengthen Unibet’s existing leadership position in Western European markets with 58 per cent organic growth.”
The gross margin for sports betting excluding live betting and before Free Bets for the second quarter 2014 was 13.0 per cent, up from 9.5 per cent. The gross margin for total sports betting for the second quarter 2014 before Free Bets was 8.0 per cent. The gross margin for total sports betting for the second quarter 2014 after Free Bets was 6.9 per cent.