Camelot UK Lotteries, the operator of the UK National Lottery, has published its financial results for the first half of FY2021/22, attributing its highest-ever first-half sales to the ‘unmissable brand connection’ with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
For the six-month period ending September 25, Camelot generated £3.96bn from ticket sales, a 2.7% increase year-on-year. The operator stated sales were driven by ‘steady retail sales’ and strong draw-based performance, particularly on its ‘Lotto’ brand, which experienced its third successive year of growth.
Additionally, Camelot confirmed that money contributed towards charitable and good causes increased by 6.5% year-on-year to £884.5m. This offsets the 59.1% decrease in unclaimed prize winnings which usually goes towards those good causes each year.
Furthermore, the National Lottery paid out £2.27bn to winners in the six-month period – an increase of £30.6m year-on-year. 95% of all sales revenue went out to winners and society with 1% retained by Camelot and 4% covered operational costs.
Sir Hugh Robertson, Chairman of Camelot, commented: “I’m delighted to announce another record sales performance for The National Lottery. Crucially, this meant that we were able to deliver growth in returns to Good Causes, prizes paid to players, and Lottery Duty to the Treasury.
“Our profit was once again aligned with returns to Good Causes at the half-year stage and will be around 1% of sales for the full year in accordance with our licence. An incredible £45bn has now been raised for National Lottery Good Causes – 65% more than the most optimistic Treasury forecasts at the time of launch.”
The main attribute of the half-year’s success, Camelot states, is the brand campaign ran to align with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games throughout the summer.
It noted that it ran its ‘largest ever’ brand campaign to remind players that for each lottery ticket they buy, they are helping to support Team GB’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
The operator also hosted the two National Lottery homecoming events held at Wembley Arena and aired on national television to celebrate the athlete’s achievements in the games.
As a result, Camelot claims the campaign further strengthened the National Lottery’s brand positivity following on from the goodwill shown during the first lockdown when the National Lottery Community Fund commitment was made.
CEO of Camelot, Nigel Railton, added: “With National Lottery sales up across the board and very high levels of public participation, we’ve once again proved that our strategy of offering great consumer choice in a safe and convenient way continues to deliver vital contributions to Good Causes across the UK.
“The National Lottery’s continued strong performance is testament to the resilient, responsive business model that we have put in place since our 2017 strategic review. Lotto is a great barometer for the overall health of The National Lottery so I’m really proud that, as a result of the series of Lotto enhancements we’ve made, we continue to be one of the only major operators in the world to be growing sales of our flagship game.
“That – paired with a steady retail recovery and our summer-long campaign celebrating the contribution of National Lottery players in helping propel our Olympians and Paralympians to success – all added up to a record first-half performance.”
The operator has published the results at a crucial period when the evaluation process of the Fourth National Lottery Licence competition is ongoing. Run by the UK Gambling Commission, the tender’s result is expected to be announced in February 2022 with the licence beginning in February 2024.