BlueBet slips to loss despite revenue growth in H1

Australian mobile betting operator BlueBet Holdings reported a net loss of AU$761,000 (£412,752/€493,510/US$553,968) for the first half of its 2022 financial year, despite experiencing a 72.4% year-on-year increase in gross revenue.

Gross revenue for the six months to 31 December 2021 reached $33.1m, up from $19.2m in the previous year, while wagering revenue – net win from players who placed losing bets, minus winnings and promotional costs – jumped 68.8% to $26.0m.

Turnover was up 20.8% to $264.5m, with growth across all product offerings. Thoroughbred turnover hiked 59.5% to $136.9m, greyhound turnover 61.9% to $72.7m, harness racing turnover 61.1% to $24.3m and other sports turnover 63.0% to $30.6m.

BlueBet noted that 66% of all turnover came from its mobile platforms, including iPhone and Android offerings, while the remaining 44% was attributed to website and call centre activity.

The operator was also helped by a 46.5% year-on-year increase in the number of active customers, which increased to 45,087 during the first half.

Other highlights for the six-month period also included the launch of three new platforms for the Australian business, with new US platforms to follow in H2. BlueBet also secured a licence to launch in Iowa and agreed a deal an online sportsbook with the Wild Card Casino in Colorado.

BlueBet was also chasing a licence in Virginia, but withdrew its application after being deemed ineligible for a permit.

Cost of sales for the period reached $11.4m, leaving a gross profit of $14.6m, up 64.0% year-on-year.

In terms of other costs, employee benefits expenses were up 284.6% to $5.0m, advertising and marketing costs 223.8% to $6.8m and licencing, platform and subscription costs 381.1% to $1.4m. Other costs included $699,000 in administration expense, $165,000 in IT costs and $830,000 in other spend.

However, higher costs meant earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) slipped from $4.7m to a loss of $315,000.

After also accounting for $251,000 in depreciation and amortisation costs and $39,000 in finance costs, only partly offset by $164,000 in interest, this left a pre-tax loss of $441,000, compared to a $4.6m profit in 2021.

BlueBet paid $334,000 in income tax, which, after including $14,000 in additional income from foreign currency translation left a net loss of $761,000, in contrast to a $3.4m profit in the previous year.

Author: Raymond Fleming