Solid first quarter for Unibet plc

Revenues up 16 percent to GBP 14.8 million

Internet gambling operator Unibet plc has posted a positive set of results for the first quarter 2010, reporting that revenues reached GBP 41.8 million, a 16 percent rise on the same quarter in 2009.

Sports betting revenues were Unibet’s strong suit, rising 23 percent on Q1/2009 to GBP 17.6 million.

Chief executive Petter Nylander described the pre-eminence of sports betting as evidence of a resurrection of the sector as the key to player acquisition, cross marketing and loyalty. Mobile and live betting were particularly strong performers in the sports betting sector, with live betting accounting for 36.5 percent of sports bet revenues – up from 21.5 percent from Q1/2009. It also contributed 65 percent of the more than 350 000 bets placed through the company’s mobile channel in the first quarter.

Unibet’s core online casino product contributed 34 percent of the group’s total revenues during the quarter.

Despite the improved action, earnings before interest and taxes fell 3 percent to GBP 10.6 million (Q1/2009: GBP 10.9 million), due mainly to a 19 percent increase in marketing spend over the quarter to GBP 24.9 million, invested in preparing for football World Cup betting action starting in June.

Chief financial officer Henrik Tjarnstrom revealed that the group intends to pursue a French licence to take advantage of the newly liberalised market in that country this year.

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