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  • FY 2023: Entain reports loss and warns of £40m 2024 regulatory impact
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Entain has reported a loss for full-year 2023 despite achieving record-high online customer numbers.  

Moreover, the company cautioned investors about forthcoming regulatory changes that are anticipated to negatively impact profits in 2024.

In 2023, Entain saw an 11% year-on-year increase in net gaming revenue (NGR), mainly driven by a record level of online active customers, which rose by 23% year-on-year.

However, underlying EBITDA increased by just 1% year-on-year to £1bn.

Online NGR increased by 12% to £3.43bn in 2023 on a constant currency basis, but declined by 3% on a pro forma basis. Retail NGR rose by 9% year-on-year to £1.39bn.

Overall group net gaming revenue, including the operator’s 50% share of BetMGM, experienced growth of 14%.

BetMGM performed well throughout the year, with NGR reaching $1.96bn, up by 36% year-on-year and therefore meeting previously announced expectations.

However, Entain ended the year with a group loss after tax of £879m, compared to a profit of £32.9m in 2022.

The group faced several challenges last year, starting with a penalty settlement regarding alleged bribery offences at its former Turkish operations, which was a major reason for the firm’s loss.

Following that was the exit of Jette Nygaard-Andersen as CEO, alongside sports results that proved disadvantageous for bookmakers.

The group also announced revised strategic priorities; focusing on driving organic growth, expanding online margins, and increasing US market share.

In 2023, Entain expanded into the regulated markets of Croatia, Poland and New Zealand, and its operations now span over 30 regulated or regulating territories.

Management comments

Entain chairman Barry Gibson described 2023 as “a period of necessary, but ultimately positive, transition” for Entain. 

“We have significantly strengthened the quality of our revenue base, enhanced our board, and delivered a resolution to a critical, historic, regulatory issue,” he said.

He added that the group is also making positive progress in its search for a new permanent CEO, while interim CEO Stella David “is driving the business as it continues to take appropriate actions to deliver changes to drive a better long term performance.” 

Interim CEO David also stressed that 2023 presented a number of challenges for the group, “both industry-wide and Entain-specific.”

“We have started the new financial year with a clear plan to accelerate our operational strategy, and are making pleasing progress across a range of initiatives to re-focus our market portfolio, prioritise organic growth, drive our share in the US, and expand our margins,” she said.

“We are entirely focused on operational excellence and outstanding execution and, as a result, are confident that we are on a pathway to delivering future growth. 

“We remain confident that our continued focused execution will drive organic growth into 2025 and beyond.”  

Current trading & outlook

Although Entain reported trading in line with expectations for the current year,  it warned of potential challenges ahead due to regulatory changes in key markets.

The UK’s stake limit on online slot games and a potential agreement on uniform safer gambling measures across the market, as well as proposed tighter deposit limits from Q2 2024 in the Netherlands, could potentially reduce FY24 EBITDA by approximately £40m.

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