All’s Well, That Starts Well, Entain Reports 30 Per Cent Kick in Q1

FTSE 100 gaming giant Entain is claiming a handsome start to the year, with a reported 31 per cent rise in Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) and something approaching a pre-Covid normality in trading across retail, they’ve posted in a Q1 Update.

Although there was no bite to the boast (defining, hard financials were not forthcoming), performance to date has been “in line with corporate expectations”, said the company’s top brass.

While NGR from online verticals declined by eight per cent, the drop was more than righted by the return of retail, which boomed back by around 1,000 per cent – although such a statistic must also be measured against the near-zero fiscal baseline caused by Covid pandemic closures.

Entain’s Internet gambling metrics were further shoaled by the necessary exclusion of Germany and Holland from the group’s published financial performance because of their respective, never-ending, regulatory sagas.

Other moves, in Eastern Europe, specifically Latvia and Poland, were much more clear-cut as drivers that will deliver strategic growth.

And Entain’s North American endeavours continued to raise cheer with continued expansion and positive trading.

BetMGM, Entain’s joint-venture with MGM Resorts International, has firmly established itself as the number two sports betting and iGaming operator across the United States and Canada, available in 23 North American markets, among them new, super-hot Ontario, and reaching at least 41 per cent of the adult US population.

“We have started the year with a good performance across all areas of our business, driven as ever by the strength of our industry-leading platform,” said Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen.

“We have delivered strong performances in all of our major markets, and I am pleased to report that retail is performing well with customers returning for our in-store experience.”

It’s a view strongly supported by London-based investment bank Peel Hunt, who have repeated a ‘Buy Recommendation’ for Entain in a recent note to investors.

“We believe the share price [of 1,622p is undervalued and] fails to reflect [Entain’s] strong growth potential, cash generation and M&A potential,” said the bank’s recommendation.

Time to burn the crypto.