-Entain rode the popularity of online betting during lockdowns to report higher annual core earnings on Thursday, but the British gambling firm refrained from paying shareholders a dividend.
Entain, which owns Ladbrokes and Coral betting shops as well as online brands such as bwin and partypoker, said its core earnings climbed 4.6% to 881.7 million pounds ($1.18 billion) in 2021. Analysts on average had expected 874.4 million pounds, according to Refinitiv data.
Revenue from online net gaming jumped 12% year-on-year.
The London-listed betting group, which had paused dividend payments last year due to uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic, said it would review the resumption of dividends at a later stage.
“As we start 2022 we see retail heading towards pre-COVID levels and online performing in line with expectations against tough prior year comparables,” Entain said in a statement.
Although Entain has enjoyed a boom in online gambling, the momentum has slowed, with online betting revenue falling in the final three months of 2021 after 23 quarters of double-digit growth.
Its latest results follow a year in which both U.S. rival DraftKings and casino operator MGM made takeover approaches for Entain, though neither resulted in a deal.
($1 = 0.7454 pounds)