It been a bumper half year for Betfair. The figures for the six months to 31 October 2014 are the stuff of a financial officer’s dreams: profit before tax up 112 per cent to £67.3m, revenue up 26 per cent to £237.6m, EBITDA up 51 per cent at £73.9m, and a £200m pay-out to shareholders.
The strong results are partly down to the World Cup, with the report citing “strong customer base growth and successful Gaming cross-sell, as well as the World Cup and favourable sports results” as contributing to the sky high figures.
Despite the glossy finish, it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the company. On 1 December, Betfair closed an online poker room in New Jersey, after failing to gain traction in the market.
That said, US operations yielded revenues of £28.4m, a 17 per cent increase on the first half of the last financial year. Betfair admits, however, the “market is far smaller than originally expected”.
Breon Corcoran, Betfair's chief executive, said:
These results demonstrate strong delivery against our strategy for achieving sustainable growth that we outlined two years ago. We have substantially strengthened our competitive position by investing in products that differentiate Betfair and by enhancing our marketing capabilities in a crowded market place.
The performance in the first six months of the year, coupled with the momentum we take into the second half, means we now expect EBITDA for the full year to be between £97m and £103m.