National Lottery owner Camelot has announced that ticket sales sold in its 2017/18 financial year (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018) increased by £26.4m to £6.95bn - a return to growth for the category. 

With sales of £5.23bn during the financial year of 2017/18, retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel, with more than 75% of total sales generated from in-store terminals.

However, a record £1.7bn in digital sales were generated during the same period, with the National Lottery’s range of online Instant Win Games performing particularly well. Mobile sales also grew to an all-time high of £700.6m, with sales through smartphones and tablets now accounting for more than 40% of all digital sales. 

Commenting on the results, Camelot ceo Nigel Railton said: “Given that we had anticipated a further sales decline this year, our achievement in getting The National Lottery back into growth and delivering more money for good causes underlines the importance of the work we have been carrying out following the strategic review. It’s fair to say that sales benefited from a nice run of luck – particularly on EuroMillions with some incredible jackpots – but the strong foundations and new initiatives that we are putting in place have also started to play a part.”

Camelot recently doubled the size of its sales force to better serve its 45,000 retail partners. In total, the company is expected to invest £20m in initiatives to boost engagement and improve in-store displays, merchandising and game availability.

The operator also generated £1.66bn (excluding investment returns) for good causes in 2017/18, a £27.3m increase on the previous year.