Powered by the strength-to-strength performance of its BetMGM sports betting and iGaming joint venture in the USA, and a retail bounce-back to near pre-Covid 19 levels, FTSE 100 Entain has reported sterling FY21 results.

The gambling industry giant recorded a Group Profit, after tax, of £275.6 million (US$368.75m/€332.5m); up 142 per cent, compared to the previous financial year.

Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) rose by seven per cent to £3.88 billion (US$5.2bn/€4.68bn), while iGaming NGR was up 12 per cent – the ninth consecutive year of double-digit growth.

Retail volumes–centred on the group’s 2,500-odd Ladbrokes and Coral high street betting shops in the UK and 453 Belgian outlets–returned to over 90 per cent of pre-pandemic takings as punters, liberated from lockdowns, surged back to the thrill of real-world betting.

And BetMGM, its 50-50 partnership with MGM Resorts International, which is live in 21 states, reaching over 37 per cent of the adult population, reinforced its position as the number two sports betting and iGaming operator in America, behind market leader DraftKings.

BetMGM posted NGR of “around” US$850 million (£634m/€767m) – an impressive five times more than FY20.

Meantime, Online Underlying EBITDA was up 12 per cent to £899 million (US$1.2bn/€1.08bn), while Retail Underlying EBITDA was £66.9 million (US$89.5m/€80.7m), some £31.4 million (US$42m/€37.8m) less than 2020.

Thanks to a “more certain medium-term outlook”, Entain says it will now return the £44 million (US$58.87m/€53.08m) it received in Covid-19 furlough payments from the UK government in 2021 while its high street bookies were shuttered.

But the company has not yet confirmed if it will return the previous year’s  £57.5 million (US$76.93m/€69.37m) furlough job-retention payment.

“Our full year results demonstrate yet again that Entain is a business with growth built into its model,” said CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen in a company statement.

“All our major markets have performed well, in particular BetMGM. Elsewhere our retail business has recovered strongly as customers have returned to our shops.

“We remain confident in our financial performance for FY22 and beyond.”

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