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Despite COVID-19 restrictions affecting the output of its Ladbrokes Coral retail unit, Entain Plc expressed trust in achieving its 2021 growth objectives.
Entain reports a 13 percent drop in group net sales, due to its restricted retail unit, which saw a 99 percent drop in NGR as ‘almost all estates were closed during the quarter,’ according to its Q1 trading update.
COVID restrictions have generated “some near-term uncertainty,” according to the FTSE100 gambling community, as it prepares to operate all business units during H1 trading.
Group CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen said: “With some easing of COVID restrictions, we are delighted to be welcoming customers back into our shops. While it has only been a handful of days since the re-opening in parts of the UK on the 12 April, we look forward to returning to more normal trading across our whole business.”
Digital growth plan
To offset its retail woes, Entain continued to concentrate on its digital growth plan, with its online gambling division announcing its ’21st consecutive quarter of double-digit growth,’ with a period NGR increase of +33 percent.
Entain announced sustained double-digit growth momentum ‘across all major online gambling markets, excluding Germany,’ in order to sustain its strong digital momentum.
Entain completed the acquisitions of Bet.pt in Portugal and leading Baltics operator Enlabs AB in Q1 trading, supporting its 2021 objectives. These assets will help to underpin Entain’s strategic expansion across controlled markets.
As its BetMGM joint-venture continues to increase its market share (19 percent) across controlled states – Entain will highlight its solid US growth prospects – as ‘BetMGM ready to challenge for the #2 position for Sports betting and iGaming across the US’
Successful and productive quarter
Nygaard-Andersen added: “This has been another very successful and productive quarter with Entain making excellent progress across a number of our strategic priorities. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our people across all aspects of our business.
“We saw excellent growth across all our major markets other than Germany where regulatory changes have impacted the market. BetMGM continues to exhibit outstanding momentum with impressive market share growth. Our acquisitions of Bet.pt and Enlabs underpin further progress on our strategic expansion into new regulated markets.”