News - Midlands

Bet365 profits surge triggers £40m windfall

Profits at online gaming giant Bet365, the majority owner of Stoke City FC, have surged past £100m as gambling activity at the group increased by 47 per cent. The results have triggered a £40m dividend jackpot for the Coates family.

The company was founded in 2000 by Denise Coates, who runs the group today with her brother John, alongside father Peter, who is also chairman of Stoke City. Bet365 sold its chain of high-street betting shops in 2005 to concentrate on its online operations.

In the year to 25 March 2012, betting at the group soared to £12.4bn, compared with £8.5bn in the previous 12 months. It resulted in turnover climbing from £501.4m to £721.8m.

Pre-tax profit for the period comprised of £116.5m, up from £98.7m, from Bet365's gambling operations and a loss of £5.8m from ownership of the football club and the Britainnia Stadium resulting in a total profit of £110.6m. After the payment of the £40m dividend, profit was £47.6m.

The group's accounts, which have been revealed today (14 December 2012), showed that turnover from Stoke City and their facilities for the year was £74m, although the club's official accounts have yet to be filed at Companies House. Wages at the Premier League side rose from £48.2m to £51.9m.

Stoke made a loss before tax of £5.6m on sales of £66.8 in the year to 31 May 2011.

During the year £40m of dividend payments were made, compared with £25m the year before, including £20.1m for Denise Coates, £10m for John and £3.1m for Peter.

The boost in overall gaming net revenue at Bet365 was driven by strong performances from the casino and games sections of the website.

Bingo also played its part with a net revenue increase of more than 30 per cent on 2011 helped by the launch of a new website and ongoing television advertising campaigns, including sponsorship of Emmerdale which started in March 2012.

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