Betfair ‘On Track’ After First-Quarter Results

Betting exchange, online casino and sportsbook operator Betfair insisted that fulfilling full-year expectations remains on track after reporting a 13 percent drop in year-on-year revenue to £90.4 million (€107.2 million/$141.5 million) over the three months to the end of July.

The drop has been attributed to Betfair’s decision to pull out of Greece, Germany, Spain and Cyprus, with the company claiming that it is starting to benefit from cost-cutting measures and a focus on well-regulated betting markets such as Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Malta, Gibraltar and the United States.

As an indication of Betfair’s improving performance, the company highlighted that underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the first quarter of the 2014 financial year rose by 16% to £24.9 million.

Owing to the launch of its new sportsbook, Betfair’s sports-related revenue from sustainable markets was up by 52%, but games revenue was down by 31%, driven predominantly by declines in international markets, weak margins in risk products and a continued poor poker performance.

The mobile channel generated revenue growth of 53%, while Betfair US revenue was up by 11%, boosted by an exclusive five-year deal to provide advanced deposit wagering in New Jersey in March 2013.

“Betfair’s first quarter performance is in line with our plan and leaves us on track to meet our expectations for the full year,” Betfair chief executive officer Breon Corcoran said.

“The business is continuing to show that it can compete more aggressively and efficiently in our key markets. We now operate from a far more sustainable revenue base and saw a 10% increase in active customers in sustainable markets in the period.”

“We have introduced ‘Cash Out’ to our sportsbook, enabling customers to lock in profits on singles and accumulators, bringing the first of many exchange-based features to the product. To coincide with the new football season we recently launched our biggest ever TV advertising campaign.”

“The season has started well and, in August, the number of active UK customers increased by 26%, contributing to double-digit revenue growth in sustainable markets.”

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