Net revenue increases by nearly 27 percent, although profits down due to U.S. settlement

Online gambling giant Sportingbet saw net revenue rise nearly 27 percent to £207.5 million this year, driven by a strong World Cup performance and the continued growth of its in-play offering.

Full-year net profit however fell 67 percent to £7.1million, impacted by one-off costs related to the group’s US$33 million settlement agreed last month with the U.S. Department of Justice for activities prior to the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in late 2006, according to a report in eGaming Review.

The company’s sports book handled more than £50 million in bets during the World Cup, 65 percent of which was in-play betting. In-play also grew to 61 percent of European sports revenue, compared to 56 percent last year.

Investment spend is not expected to increase significantly next year, but the sports betting operator invested £24 million in the IT side of the business last year and intends to invest the same next year, EGR said.

The European business grew strongly last year, with gross revenue up 30 percent to £121.4 million, and the company is looking at opportunities for expansion in South America.