Nygaard-Andersen named CEO as Entain lauds diversified business model

Jette Nygaard-Andersen has been confirmed as the CEO of gaming and sports betting group Entain with immediate effect, taking over from Shay Segev who is to become co-CEO of international sports streaming platform DAZN

Confirmed in the role after joining as an independent non-executive director in 2019, Entain has also announced that Rob Wood, CFO, will have the role of deputy CEO added to his current role, and Sandeep Tiku, Entain’s COO, will be appointed to the board later in the year.

Nygaard-Andersen explained: “I am very excited to have the opportunity of continuing the extraordinary momentum that Entain has in its existing markets, as well as helping it enter new regulated markets and reach new audiences.  

“I am delighted that Rob has agreed to take on broader responsibilities and that the importance of our proprietary technology is recognised through Sandeep’s appointment to the board.  

“I am deeply wedded to Entain’s commitment to providing industry-leading levels of player protection, and to its philosophy that the most sustainable business in our industry will be the most successful business in our industry. I cannot wait to get started.”

These appointments come as the firm releases a trading report for the fourth quarter and full-year of 2020, praising a strong performance that was “driven by a business model that is highly diversified across a wide range of products”.

Praising continued effort across the four core areas of US leadership, growth in core markets, entry into new markets, and sustainability, full year 2020 group EBITDA is expected to be ahead of Q3 estimations of £770m-£790m to finish in the range of £825m-£845m.

Full year online net gaming revenue is expected to be ahead 28 per cent, with Q4 anticipated to surge 41 per cent, representing a 20th consecutive quarter of double digit online NGR growth.

Online gaming is stipulated as showing 28 per cent and 29 per cent increased across Q4 and FY, with its sports segment surging 59 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively.

Aligning the performance to “geographic and product diversification” as well as strong sports margins, UK and European retail continue to show significant declines due to restrictions and shop closures required throughout the year in response to COVID-19.

In the US, Entain’s BetMGM joint venture with MGM Resorts International, which this week dropped its pursuit of the group, boasts a market share of 18 per cent across all live markets and a 130 per cent boost in online revenue throughout the year.

Ahead of its impending Michigan launch tomorrow, the firm says that US net revenues are now expected to be in the range of $175m-$180m, ahead of third quarter guidance of $150m-$160m.

Furthermore, Entain, which praises its October purchase of Bet.pt, also documents in ongoing pursuit of Baltics gambling group Enlabs, despite shareholders which own a combined 10 per cent interest in the firm voicing its objection to the SEK 2.8bn (£250m) proposal. 

Entain says that both transactions “are entirely aligned with our strategy of expanding into new markets that are either regulated or regulating, in order to support our international growth ambitions.”

Segev, Entain’s outgoing CEO, commented: “In an exceptionally challenging year, our strong performance has been driven by a business model that is highly diversified across a wide range of products, brands, territories and channels.  

“Q4 has been another successful period for us, and we are particularly pleased with the momentum that we are seeing in the US. BetMGM continues to go from strength to strength and is now live in 11 states, plus Michigan will be launching online tomorrow.

“As ever, we remain deeply aware of our responsibility to provide our customers with the safest possible experience while using our products, and to that end our new technology-based advanced responsibility and care programme is heralding a new era in player protection.

“While the short-term outlook remains uncertain as a result of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, we have entered 2021 with good momentum and remain as confident as ever in Entain’s longer term prospects.”