Sky Betting & Gaming announces stellar results

Richard Flint, CEO of Sky Betting & Gaming
Richard Flint, CEO of Sky Betting & Gaming
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Sky Betting & Gaming​ reported a 47 per cent leap in half year revenue ​after attracting 300,000 new customers.

Sky Bet ​was the star performer with a 58 per cent jump in ​revenue to £210m, driven by ​a 29 per cent increase in betting stakes and​ ​favourable sports results​.

A number of Premier League teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have drawn or lost a lot of games, which boosts the income for gambling firms.

Sky Gaming revenue ​rose​ 31​ per cent​ to £117m​.

The Leeds-based group said revenue jumped from £230m to £339m in the six months to December 28.

​Earnings nearly doubled from £62m to £118m after total customer​ number​s ​rose 19​ per cent​ to 2.0​ ​m​illion​ ​from ​1.7​ ​m​illion.​

​The group created 230 net jobs​, mainly at its Yorkshire base. Some 80 per cent of the business is based in Leeds and the group now employs 1,350 people.

Richard Flint, CEO of ​​Sky Betting & Gaming, ​said: "Yorkshire has been a fantastic place to grow the business. We have got a great team."

He said the growth in customer numbers reflects an ongoing trend from retail to online.

"People are doing more online rather than in shops. We are a very strong tech business and the Sky brand has helped us," he added.

The firm said it continued to perform "very well" in the first half of 2017/18.

"Our focus on the​ ​customer, and delivering quality experiences, offers and promotions continues to differentiate​ ​our brand and we extended our lead as the UK’s most popular online betting brand,​" said Mr Flint.

The firm has improved its range of markets, products and offers, with more betting​ ​options and over 20 exclusive new games launched on ​its​ gaming brands.

​Investment in data science ​is​ delivering greater ​customer ​personalisation, with the​ ​home page tailored towards the individual, and recommended games and bet options ​are ​delivering​ ​relevant and appealing content.

​Mr Flint said the group has launch​ed​ a fully integrated safer gambling campaign and ​it has increase​d​ ​the​ investment in research, data analysis and capability to​ ​provide a safe and responsible gambling environment for customers.

During the industry’s​ ​annual ICE show, ​he​ outlined a four-point plan to harness technology and customer data to try to​ ​reduce harm.

​"​We support a mandatory research levy, and increased regulation from​ ​the Gambling Commission to protect customers that are at risk​," said Mr Flint.​

​"​We also extended our headline​ ​sponsorship of the English Football League for an additional five years, taking it through to the​ ​2023/24 season, with responsible gambling at the heart of the agreement.

“We are proud of our record of job creation and investment in Yorkshire, with an additional 230​ ​jobs created in the period, as well as our contribution to regional and national taxation.​"

A report​ ​by WPI Economics estimates that ​the firm​ contributed over £300m gross value added to the Yorkshire​ ​economy in 2016/17, and ​the group​ plan​s​ to continue investing in the region.

“During the period, we continued to export our success, with the launch of our second​ ​international business Sky Bet Deutschland for German sports betting customers​," said Mr Flint​.

​"​This business​ ​aims to provide the same quality of user experience, range of bets and simplicity to German​ ​customers that our UK and Italian customers have come to expect from us.

​"​We have just enjoyed​ ​our busiest ever Cheltenham, with bet volumes peaking at just over 300 bets per second, so with​ ​strong momentum in the first half of the year, we will maintain our focus on investment in talent​ ​and technology, delivering innovative and quality products and offers to our customers, leaving us​ ​confident that we can deliver further growth.”