Gambling giant bet365 enjoyed a bumper year in 2021 after seeing profits rise to a massive £285 million.
Accounts published on Companies House reveal the Stoke-on-Trent company’s operating profit increased by more than 47 per cent for the 52 weeks to March 28, 2021 – up £91 million on the £194.7 million in 2020.
Turnover stayed almost the same as the previous year at £2.81 billion, but staff numbers rose to 5,504 from 5,177 in 2020.
This includes 293 employees at Stoke City Football Club which recorded a loss of almost £56 million for the same 12-month period.
Bet365 is owned by The Coates family – Denise Coates, John Coates and their father Peter Coates – who also have a majority share in Stoke City Football Club.
For the 12-month period the directors received a dividend of £97.5 million, up from £95 million in 2020, while Denise Coates cemented her position as the UK’s highest paid boss – and the number one tax payer – with a £250 million payout.
This is £171 million less than the £421 million she paid herself in 2020.
In the financial report, joint group chief executive Denise Coates CBE, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the business throughout the period. The global suspension of sport across all levels resulted in dramatically reduced revenues. However, sport resumed in the second half of the period and revenues increased to above pre-pandemic levels. As a result, revenue was marginally higher than the previous year.
“I am delighted with how the group responded and adapted to these challenging circumstances. We continued to operate the business successfully throughout multiple lockdowns with business continuity plans enacted to allow staff to work from home.
“I am pleased that no redundancies or reductions in basic pay were made as a result of the pandemic and that the group did not make use of any government support programmes in any jurisdiction. Investment was also made to ensure office environments were covid-19 secure.”
BusinessLive is your home for business news from across the West Midlands including Birmingham, the Black Country, Solihull, Coventry and Staffordshire.
Click through here to sign up for our daily email newsletter and also view the broad range of other bulletins we offer including weekly sector-specific updates.
We will also send out ‘Breaking News’ emails for any stories which must be seen right away.
For all the latest stories, views and polls, follow our BusinessLive West Midlands LinkedIn page here.
The report added: “The paramount commitment of the group to safer gambling continued through the period.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic and as lockdowns were introduced, the group implemented a number of measures in recognition of the heightened level of risk to potentially vulnerable players.
“These included a halt to TV and radio adverts promoting gaming products, the suspension of all external marketing, no paid or promoted content on social media and a significant reduction in social media activity, except for safer gambling messages, which materially increased in volume.”
Also last year, bet365 donated £100 million to the Denise Coates Foundation – which supports charitable causes – which is an increase on the £85 million for the previous year.