Online casino and sportsbook operator Unibet has announced that its second quarter profits more than doubled after June’s European soccer championships encouraged increased levels of sports wagering.
The London and Malta-based firm has customers in more than 100 countries and revealed that its net income rose to $6.8 million for the quarter from $3.01 million last year. The company stated that winnings from sportsbetting jumped by almost nine-tenths as sales set records during the month-long Euro 2008 soccer tournament held in Austria and Switzerland, driven by live wagers.
The Swedish-owned firm announced that gross winnings revenues, or the amount of money lost by gamblers, rose 74 percent to $41.51 million for the second quarter while winnings from sportsbetting increased to $14.22 million before free wagers from last year’s $7.61 million. In addition, the operating margin more than doubled from a year earlier to 21.9 percent and Unibet stated that it is on course to meet its financial goals for 2010. For the longer six-month period, the company’s gross winnings revenues rose to $111.1 million compared with $70.54 million last year.
The bookmaker revealed that currency exchange costs associated with the $148.76 million bond it took out in December to fund the purchase of MariaBingo.com cost it around half its pre-tax profits for the first half of 2008. For the first six-month period of 2008, these amounted to $10.26 million compared with $15.62 million last year but would have come in at $23.83 million without currency exchange costs.
“During the first half of 2008 we have seen healthy growth for the group both in terms of gross winnings and profits from operations,” said Petter Nylander, Chief Executive Officer for Unibet.
“With the European championships in football as a real highlight during the quarter, we reached a new record high in active customers and our live betting was a great success with over 3,000 offers.”