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Online betting platform SunBet cashes in R90m

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 12 Sept 2023
SunBet has set its sights on expanding to other African geographies.
SunBet has set its sights on expanding to other African geographies.

SunBet, an online betting platform owned by South African hospitality group Sun International, has reported earnings gains.

This emerged yesterday, when JSE-listed Sun International announced its financial results for the six-month period ended 30 June.

The group’s income for the period was up 11.7%, to R5.8 billion, compared to the prior period.

According to the company, SunBet continued its strong growth trajectory and is exceeding its five-year targets. Overall, SunBet’s income was up 138.4% for the period.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased from R14 million during the prior comparative period, to R90 million in the review period − a 542.9% increase, says the hospitality group in a statement.

With the growth of the business, SunBet has set its sights on expanding to other African geographies.

According to the company, active players continued to grow, with additional games being offered and the overall player experience being enhanced.

“At the end of the review period, we achieved substantial growth across our key performance indicators against 2022, which included unique active players up 702.8%, first-time depositors up 469.2% and deposits up 216.2%.”

Sun International explains that SunBet offers the group significant growth potential, with the added advantage of the business model being self-funding and capex-light.

“With this in mind, we continue to invest in people and marketing in order to significantly increase our share of the fast-growing online gaming market.

“We have made significant improvements regarding first-time registrations, customer deposits and withdrawal processes, as well as an overhaul of the customer contact centre. Our customers are now able to interact with us seamlessly, and we are well-positioned operationally for higher volumes of business.”

The online betting platform notes it continues to leverage the Sun International brand, presence and loyalty offering to attract and retain players, while positioning SunBet to be the most trusted and responsible online gaming operator in Southern Africa.

“In a highly-commoditised online industry, our competitive advantage lies in our ability to add value to the offering through the wider Sun International stable. We have increased our market share and are on track to achieve our target of greater than 10% by 2026.

“We are on a focused journey to grow our current operating market and launch into new markets, as the online model is easily portable to new geographies. In this regard, we have made steady progress in preparing for the launch of operations in Ghana, Zambia and Kenya, which have attractive long-term growth potential. We anticipate that we should be fully-operational in these markets in the first half of 2024.”

Meanwhile, during the review period, Sun Slots was significantly impacted by load-shedding, and income reduced from R730 million to R717 million, while adjusted EBITDA reduced from R191 million to R166 million.

“Load-shedding remains the major contributor which is negatively impacting this business. This has resulted in a decline in game play and footfall at Sun Slots’ sites, which was the major contributor to the lower-than-expected results during the period.”

The firm notes that a number of interventions have been deployed to counter the impact of power outages which result in less game time.