UPDATED: Revenues soar to £373m at Sky Bet as company shrugs off ‘Leicester City effects’

Date: 20th June 2016, Picture James Hardisty.
Launch of Digital City with SkyBet, at Yorkshire Post Newspapers, Leeds. Pictured Richard Flint, Managing Director of Sky Betting and Gaming.

Date: 20th June 2016, Picture James Hardisty. Launch of Digital City with SkyBet, at Yorkshire Post Newspapers, Leeds. Pictured Richard Flint, Managing Director of Sky Betting and Gaming.

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Sky Bet has shrugged off the effects of “unprecedented pay-outs” following Leicester City winning the Premier League title to increase its revenues to £373.6m for the year ended June 30, a rise of 51 per cent

Average revenue per customer increased to £192 from £167, a change of 15 per cent and mobile revenues now stand at 75 per cent as compared with 65 per cent last year.

Date:  20th May 2015. Picture James Hardisty, (JH1008/67g) Richard Flint, Chief Executive of Leeds Based Sky Bet & Gaming.

Date: 20th May 2015. Picture James Hardisty, (JH1008/67g) Richard Flint, Chief Executive of Leeds Based Sky Bet & Gaming.

Headcount also increased significantly with the total number of employees now standing at 818, 37 per cent higher than the year prior.

The success comes against the backdrop of a tumultuous year for the gambling industry following Leicester’s unlikely capturing of the Premier League title and the Cheltenham Festival seeing bookies paying out to punters on a scale rarely seen.

The company also bore witness to:

- Successful Super 6 launch in Italy

Crowds line the street to cheer on Leicester City players and staff celebrate with the trophy after winning the English Premier League during an open top bus parade through the central business district of Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, May 19, 2016. The Leicester City team is on a two-day visit to Bangkok to celebrate their premiership win. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Crowds line the street to cheer on Leicester City players and staff celebrate with the trophy after winning the English Premier League during an open top bus parade through the central business district of Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, May 19, 2016. The Leicester City team is on a two-day visit to Bangkok to celebrate their premiership win. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

- Appointment of Managing Director for Sky Bet Deutschland

- Sponsorship of the English Football League (EFL) extended for a further three years

Richard Flint, Sky Bet chief executive, said: “We are pleased with the growth in the period up until June 2016. We had a really good year and it is carrying on well.

“2015/16 has been another excellent year for the business and we are pleased to have delivered this strong performance despite some unprecedented pay-outs including an extremely generous Cheltenham Festival offer and a pay-out of around £5m on Leicester City winning the Premier League.

“We have continued to invest in both our technology and mobile platforms from our base in Yorkshire and our Super 6 product has successfully launched in Italy since the period end. Our strong momentum has continued into the current financial year and we are excited about the opportunities ahead both in the UK and internationally.”

The growth in audience numbers, he told The Yorkshire Post, was particularly pleasing.

“We are very much focused on being mass market.

“The company has the biggest weekly active consumer business in the industry that has been out focus and it has been delivered.”

Sky Bet was spun out of former parent company Sky in December 2014 after the latter sold its controlling stake to Private Equity house CVC Capital Partners in a deal which valued Sky Bet at £800m.

Following a successful start to life as an independent entity the business has been the subject of speculation that it will seek to float on the stock market at some stage.

However Mr Flint insisted that plans for this were not imminent.

“CVC will likely exit the business at some point, and the most likely exit route is an IPO. We have only been going for 18 months, there are no current plans to float.”

Last year also saw Sky Bet commit to three new investments in the shape of Core Gaming, Sporting Life and Openbet via NYX Gaming Group

Core Gaming is a Birmingham-based company and was a large provider to Sky Bet for online slot games.

“From our perspective, it made sense to bring it in house,” said Mr Flint.

“We are pleased with how that has gone, it is a bigger team and the will develop.”

Mr Flint said that the deal with Sporting Life was designed to make Sky Bet and “owner, rather than a renter” of their services.

Meanwhile the deal for Openbet came about due to the private equity house which owned it looking to exit.

“We knew we could give them a good home and provide stability, as well as it being a good investment for us.”

Mr Flint said that the company had also made a successful initial foray into Italy.

“We are still in early days,” said Mr Flint.

“It is still in the soft launch phase, and we are pleased with how that is going. We will be ready for a public launch in the next few months.”

A view of the information screens at the London Stock Exchange in the City of London Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

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