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Bet365 founder Denise Coates gets large dividend on strength of positive growth

December 17th, 2012 / lee
Bet365

Stoke based Online betting site Bet365 are continuing to go from strength to strength as founder of the company, Denise Coates has paid herself a £2 million dividend on the strength of more financial success. Coates, who received an OBE last year for her services to business and the community launched the the gambling group from betting shop car park over a decade ago. Known as Britain’s most successful self-made businesswoman has taken a big bonus as Bet365 continues to impress.

Processed bets which totalled up to £12.4 billion for the year to March saw betting site Bet365 generate a pre-tax profit of £111 million, which was an increase of 22% over the previous year’s figures. The group, who own Premier League side Stoke City, would have had even bigger profits on their books, had the wage bill at the Britannia Stadium not have risen as much as it had, costing Bet365 around £6 million in extra profits.

The story of the rise of betting site Bet365 has been remarkable. Coates launched the business in such a humble manner and operated out of a portakabin in the early days and they have turned into one of Europe’s leading online betting groups. What is perhaps more remarkable about the increase in profits that Bet365 have taken is that they are still incorporated in the United Kingdom where taxation is high. The betting group had to face up to a corporation tax bill of £20 million and that is in stark contrast to other leading online betting sites like Ladbrokes and William Hill who run their UK divisions from tax havens which means that they aren’t faced with those UK taxation hits.

The Bet365 group as well do not operate out of any high street stores and only has a humble base locked in Stoke where it employs 1,900 members of staff and spends around £60 million on IT per year. Founder Denise Coates own around half of Bet365, with the balance controlled by her father Peter, the chairman of Stoke City football club, and runs the company with her brother John. In total the shareholders at Bet365 received dividends to the total of £115 million in the four years up to March 2013. Coates, the highest earner of the shareholders took around £6 million last year in both pay and bonuses combined.

With a background in mathematics and economics, Denise Coates said earlier in the year. “I really don’t enjoy the attention – the public side does not come naturally to me,” she said. “I’m not saying I’m a shrinking violet – I’m not – I’ve been bossy all my life. It’s just I very much enjoy actually running the business.”

“I never gave it a second thought,” Coates said of her journey in a male dominated industry. “It didn’t cross my mind. I probably had a few [meetings] at first where I had to put somebody right – but I knew my business, so it wasn’t a problem … I just wanted to get on with making my business successful. I’ve never dwelled on the fact, or thought about the fact, that I was a woman.”



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