SKYBET GEARING UP FOR PUSH INTO ITALIAN AND GERMAN MARKETS
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 CVCs GBP 800 million acquisition of a controlling stake in the betting group in 2014, and SkyBets achievement of a controlling stake in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia in the same year, strengthening its potential in the German and Italian markets.
SkyBets 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 percent to GBP 373.6 million, up from GBP 247.5 million a year earlier. No figures for profit were available.
The majority of the rise came from SkyBets sports betting division which grew 64 percent over the year and accounted for GBP 214.1 million of group revenues.
The gaming division, which includes successful brands runs brands Sky Casino, Sky Bingo and Sky Poker, accounted for GBP 159.5 million, representing a 36 percent 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 GBP 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.”