August 12, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — Online sportsbetting company Unibet Group plc has enjoyed a bumper second quarter thanks to in-game betting and the Euro 2008 football action, the management disclosed this week, highlighting doubled profits. In-game (live) betting accounted for 23 percent of the second quarter gross win revenue for the firm's sportsbook.
Net income rose to GBP 3.55 million, up from GBP 1.61 million in the same period last year, as winnings from sports bets jumped by almost nine-tenths and sales set new records during the month-long soccer championship, whilst additional revenues flowed from the Maria Bingo website, purchased last December.
"With the European championship as a highlight, we reached a new record in active customers," CEO Petter Nylander noted.
However, looking at the half year-to-date picture, currency exchange costs on the Euro 100 million bond arranging by Unibet to buy Maria Bingo proved to have an expensive impact on results, costing the firm almost half its pre-tax profits. Unibet's pre-tax profits for the first half of the year amounted to GBP 6.9 million (GBP 10.5 million in H1 2007). That figure would have risen to GBP12.7 million without the currency exchange loss of GBP 5.8 million the company had to take on the bond during the period.
The company's gross win revenue rose to GBP 59.2 million during the period (GBP 37.6 million last time), and quarterly sports margins excluding in-running betting and bonuses rose to 7 percent from 5.4 percent over the same period last year.  
Q2 gross win came to GBP 9.6 million, compared with GBP 5 million last year, and over the half year reached GBP 21.4 million (H1 2007: GBP 14.7 million).
On the non-sports betting front gross winnings reached GBP 19.5 million (Q2 2007: GBP12.2 million) and GBP 40.3 million for the half year (H1 2007: GBP 25 million). Online poker and casino operations  made up 31 percent and 53 percent respectively of non-sports betting winnings during the second quarter.
Unibet's customer base jumped almost 10 percent over Q1 2008, making a total of 316,780 registered players on the company's books.
The company took the opportunity to announce an agreement to buy online sports-media company Guildhall Media Invest Ltd. for Euros 150,000 in cash, assuming Euro 4.2 million in debts as part of the deal.

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