Camelot announces shock sales U-turn

National Lottery operator Camelot has unveiled a shock return to sales growth for the first time in six years. The news comes as the lottery operator launches a raft of initiatives to build its games portfolio this year.

Sales for the National Lottery operator rose one per cent to £4.61bn in the 12 months to March 31, compared with a 5.4 per cent drop to £4.57bn reported last year. The £40m sales growth has been fuelled by a 17 per cent increase in non-Lotto games, which now account for 30 per cent of Camelot’s overall sales.

Although the National Lottery operator has not broken down the sales by game, company insiders say the launch of the EuroMillions and Daily Play games has been a success, with both reported to be in the top ten of impulse packaged goods brands. Camelot will now expand its EuroMillions game with an additional six countries – Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland.

Camelot has also revealed plans to increase impulse buys of its draw-based games by making it possible to buy tickets at supermarket checkouts. The company will launch a pilot scheme later this year before a full roll out in 2005. In addition, Camelot will launch a further 800 point-of-sale terminals this year.

The plan is part of an aggressive strategy to expand access to its lottery games this year, which will also see Camelot partnering mobile phone companies Vodafone, T-Mobile, 3, Orange and O2 to launch its telephone service to buy tickets.

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