Friday June 21,2013 : BET365 POWERING ON
 
Profits leap by GBP 148 million
 
Tier one UK online gambling firm bet365 has reported profits up a third to GBP 148 million, The Guardian newspaper reports.
 
The company, founded 13 years ago by the Coates family, handled substantially more wagers than competitors like Ladbrokes and William Hill, the newspaper notes. And that is despite a loss of GBP 31 million incurred as a result of the firm's controlling interest in the loss-making Stoke City football club.
 
Bet365 saw nearly GBP 20 billion wagered on its website in the year to March 2013, making it larger than sites operated by Ladbrokes and William Hill combined.
 
Despite its low profile, it is the biggest private employer in Stoke, and its workforce rose by almost 19 percent to more than 2,500 during the year, The Guardian reports.
 
Britain’s tax-hungry government will be pleased with the company, which paid corporation tax of GBP 31 million, in contrast to competitors who moved offshore to more friendly tax climes years ago, but may have to move back to the UK or pay secondary taxes to access the UK market when new point-of-consumption laws are implemented next year .
 
CEO Denise Coates and her fellow shareholders received dividends of GBP15 million last year, the latest accounts reveal, half of which went to her, with the balance largely to her brother John and father Peter. In addition, Denise received pay and bonuses last year of GBP 5.4 million.
 
Over the past five years, bet365 has paid out dividends totalling GBP 130 million, half of which have gone to Coates, cementing her reputation as one of Europe's most successful dotcom entrepreneurs.
 
The company has GBP 430 million in cash reserves on its balance sheet.
 
Pretax profits from bet365's gambling operations rose 54 percent to GBP 179 million, with new apps for tablet devices helping growth. New licences to offer betting were taken out in Spain, Denmark and Austria, with hopes of similar deals in Germany and Greece.