Online gambling company Betfair has targeted growth in the United States and Italy after reporting an increase in earnings despite a fall in revenue in the six months through to the end of October 2013.
After stepping back from markets such as Germany and Greece that were deemed to provide uncertain financial returns, revenue fell by 6% to £188m (€227m/$308m) over the six-month period.
However, Betfair’s interim results also revealed that underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 16% to £48.9m while profit before tax increased by 56% from £20.9m to £32.5m in the first half of the 2014 fiscal year.
The company also increased its interim dividend by 50% to 6p per share.
“Betfair has continued to make progress against the strategic objectives we set out in December 2012 and has delivered a good first-half performance,” Betfair chief executive officer Breon Corcoran said.
“Our focus on regulated jurisdictions and sportsbook-led acquisitions continue to be successful.”
The company has outlined start-up losses of between £5m and £10m for the Italian and US markets but has insisted that it will be able to maintain its profit forecast for the full year.
“Notwithstanding this incremental investment, the progress we have made in the first six months means we expect underlying EBITDA for the full year to be between £82m and £87m,” Corcoran said.