WatchandWager shows trading growth in Webis Holdings interims

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Global Gaming Group Webis Holdings plc has announced its unaudited interim results for the period ended 30 November 2020. The report cites sustained improvement in trading for its principal subsidiary, horse and greyhound racing operator (WaW), and a strong US market positioning.

During the half, group amounts wagered were up 20% to $45.4m (2019: US$ 37.7 m), while turnover reported was $7.4m (2019: $8.1m). Gross profit increased significantly to $2.66m (2019: $1.79m), a growth of 48% versus prior year. This resulted in a profit on the period of $0.72m (2019: loss of $0.21m). 

According to the firm, the turnaround of almost $1m in profit over the six months reflects the changing business mix in the operation, with improved overall margin derived from more “retail-style” wagering activity, especially online. 

Operating costs showed a small increase to $2.17m (2019: $2m), reflecting the additional costs of setting up racetrack operations in the autumn of 2019 during the Covid-19 pandemic. These costs are expected to stabilize, the company advised. 

On US trade, Non-Executive Chairman Denham Eke stated: “It cannot have gone unnoticed to shareholders and observers alike that the sustained growth of USA licensed expended gambling is the hottest subject in the global industry. In that regard, Webis and our principal subsidiary WatchandWager, remain very well positioned as a licensed operator in many states, and of course in California

“Almost all factors are in our favor with legislation passing or on the verge of passing in many key states, as updated almost daily both in trade and financial media. At the same time, many major large multi-national gambling entities continue to search for merger or acquisition of key assets in the USA. 

“This is compounded due to the ongoing downturn in the industry, in the UK, where the affordability review is a very real threat to non-USA players, unlike our operation. On top of that the unfortunate economic impact of Covid-19 and other natural disasters has hastened the need for more taxes and duties in states, especially in California. 

“It now seems a certainty that more and more states will continue to legalize sports betting in the next two years, including California, the most complex but lucrative state. As a result, the Board believes that now is the time to escalate our plans to take advantage of our position. As a relatively small but well positioned company, we will upgrade our profile on several levels. This includes reviewing and improving our Board structure, especially in the USA, plus increasing our presence in California and our overall profile in the industry.” 

In a separate statement, WaW has confirmed a new two-year extension to its existing deal with AretoNet. It will utilize the latter’s full suite of real time data analytics, business intelligence, advanced segmentation and marketing automation features to deliver contextual, real-time marketing campaigns to maximize player conversion and retention.

Terri Harrison VP Retail Operations for WaW said: “The automation, segmentation and optimization features of AretoNet allow us to effectively target and engage customers who otherwise might have fallen through the cracks of our traditional marketing efforts.  

“We have seen improvements in conversions to active customers and depositors from the implementation of a registration funnel. Their AI predictive analytics generate a significant part of the customer lifetime value extension, by providing insight into customers who might drop off soon or are showing less engagement.

“Engagement rates on retention communications have averaged more than 62% and over 34% on reactivation campaigns, both significant results which have generated improvements in our average customer lifetime values so we were delighted to extend our partnership by a further two years.”

Justin Farrugia, CEO and co-founder of AretoNet, said: “We are extremely pleased that our platform has delivered such significant results for WaW and that they have decided to extend our partnership. We’re looking forward to supporting their future growth.”