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  • Q3 2023: Entain downgrades EBITDA margin guidance as problems persist
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Entain has slashed its EBITDA margin forecast in Q3 as the company continues to be negatively impacted by regulatory and market headwinds.

The London-listed operator reported 7% NGR growth for the three-month period ending 30 September.

Online revenue rose 9% during the quarter, but fell by 6% on a proforma basis. This was in-line with its 25 September trading update in which it highlighted a Q3 slowdown. 

Retail reported a 4% increase in revenue, meanwhile, again falling by 4% on a proforma basis.

In the update, the company pointed to slower than expected growth in both Italy and Australia, the adverse impact of customer-friendly sports results and ongoing regulatory pressures. 

The main bright spot for the business was the continued strength of its BetMGM joint venture in the US, which saw 15% year-on-year revenue growth to $458m (£375.7m). 

In the year to date, the trend is even more extreme, reporting a 41% rise in revenue over the same nine-month period in 2022. 

Entain also highlighted BetMGM’s 18% market share in the markets it is active in. The venture also continues to punch above its weight in iGaming, where it has a 26% US market share. 

As such, BetMGM is on track to achieve the upper end of its $1.8bn to $2bn guidance for full-year 2023, as well as being EBITDA positive in the second half of the year. 

Entain reduces EBITDA margin guidance

Despite the dip in Q3 2023, Entain reiterated its previous full-year EBITDA guidance of between £1bn and £1.05bn. 

While the business said adverse sports results continued in October and have cost it around £45m in EBITDA, the company’s expectations for Q1 2024 and beyond should not be impacted. 

However, the company slashed its online EBITDA margin expectations for 2023 by 1% to 25%. Entain said the Tab NZ acquisition and lower than expected revenue growth were behind the reduction. 

The 2024 margin is to fall somewhere between 24-25%, resulting from the expected imposition of new taxes in Brazil being cancelled out by projected cost efficiency savings. 

Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen said: “Entain has undergone a profound transformation over the last few years, and now has strong foundations from which to move into its next phase of growth. 

“We have made significant investments in responsible gambling initiatives. While these steps have impacted EBITDA, they are unquestionably the right thing to do to improve our long-term prospects.”

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