SKYBET GEARING UP FOR PUSH INTO ITALIAN AND GERMAN MARKETS
10th October, 2016 at 07:53:54
Strong UK growth encourages expansion plans.
UK online operator Sky Betting and Gaming is gearing up for an international expansion in 2017 involving Italy and Germany following strong growth in the British market.
The Financial Times reports that the expansion follows private equity firm CVC's £ 800 million acquisition of a controlling stake in the betting group in 2014 (see previous reports), and SkyBet's achievement of a controlling stake in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia in the same year, strengthening its potential in the German and Italian markets.
SkyBet's chief executive, Richard Flint, told the FT this weekend that his company has hired staff in Germany and Italy, and has begun testing its site in with a small group of customers in both countries. He revealed that a more formal launch ios planned for next year, when the company will begin to advertise in both markets.
"We very much plan to follow a similar model as in the UK," he said. "We're experts in mobile apps. And with the Sky brand and the relationship we have with the broadcaster we have been successful in the UK.
"We see that being replicated at a high level Germany and Italy, although the exact mechanics of what broadcasters are looking for and what individual programmes might be looking for will depend on the needs of the local market."
On Monday, SkyBet released its full-year results for the 12 months ended June 30. Revenues rose 51% to £ 373.6 million, up from £ 247.5 million a year earlier. No figures for profit were available.
The majority of the rise came from SkyBet's sports betting division which grew 64% over the year and accounted for £ 214.1 million of group revenues.
The gaming division, which includes successful brands runs brands Sky Casino, Sky Bingo and Sky Poker, accounted for £ 159.5 million, representing a 36% year-on-year increase.
The company also said it has increased its number of customers to 1.95 million compared with 1.48 million a year earlier.
Flint addressed recent media speculation that the company was about to float an IPO that could value the group at £ 1.5 billion, saying:
"There is no plan or timescale for a float. At some point, CVC will want to exit and an IPO is a possibility, but there is no timescale."
Related News Tags: Germany, Italy