Ladbrokes owner Entain's profit boosted by Euro 2020

FILE PHOTO: A closed Ladbrokes is seen in Manchester, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Manchester, Britain, June 12, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo

(Reuters) -Ladbrokes owner Entain reported higher first-half profit on Thursday buoyed by the Euro 2020 soccer tournament, which the British company called its biggest sports betting event yet.

Previously known as GVC, the company also saw a rise in online net gaming revenue, reporting in July its 22nd straight quarter of double-digit growth.

For the six months to June 30 underlying core profit rose 12% to 401.1 million pounds ($556 million), it said.

The sector is recovering from a year of cancelled sporting events and shuttered retail betting shops because of the pandemic.

The company’s U.S. joint venture with casino operator MGM Resorts has also performed well, and Entain said it expects to be operational in around 20 U.S. states over the next 12 months.

Following the strong update for the first half, Entain said it was confident of its prospects for the second half of the year and maintained its forecast for 2021 profit to be between 850 million pounds and 900 million pounds.

The London-listed company also launched a cost savings programme on Thursday to help it invest in its platforms and to drive expansion. Entain expects to save 100 million pounds in 2023.

($1 = 0.7211 pounds)

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