Betfair, which recently rejected a 950p per share takeover offer from CVC Capital Partners valuing the company £1 billion, have announced a pre-tax loss of £49m down from a profit of £54.2m last year, with revenues remaining flat.
Attributing the loss to changes in regulation and the exit from some major European markets, Betfair’s CEO, Breon Corcoran, remained positive and commented:
"This is a solid set of results in what has been a year of transition for Betfair. Revenues lost as a result of changing regulation have been largely replaced with regulated, more sustainable revenues.
Following the outline of our new strategic plan at our half year results in December, the business has undergone significant change and much progress has been made in a short time. A new management team is leading the business, a wide ranging restructuring has been completed ahead of schedule, marketing investment has been focused on core markets and we have successfully launched a Sportsbook.
While the Exchange continues to be at the heart of our business, the Sportsbook means we can now present new customers with a simpler, more familiar product and offer a wider range of promotional activity than is possible on the Exchange alone. This is helping Betfair to attract more new customers than ever before.
The recent introduction of Cash Out on the Sportsbook is the first of many ways we intend to use Exchange features to offer a differentiated customer experience and strengthen our competitive advantage.
Although it remains early days for many of these initiatives, we remain pleased with the operational trends we are seeing, which give us confidence that the steps we are taking will deliver a higher quality, sustainable and growing business.
We have made excellent progress on all of our key strategic aims and the business is in a far stronger position to generate future growth than it was at the start of the year."
Betfair reported an 18% increase in customer numbers over the past 6-months, a result they attribute to the simplicity of their relatively new fixed odds product, although it may also be due to the acquisition of the Blue Square customer base earlier this year.