Betfair gets lift from football

City A.M. Reporter
BETFAIR Group, the world’s largest betting exchange, reported first half core earnings at the top end of expectations yesterday, driven by a good start to the football season and a surge in mobile phone betting.

Betfair, founded 10 years ago by one-time professional gambler Andrew Black and former JP Morgan trader Edward Wray, said the total value of bets rose seven per cent in the first half and it expects to make further progress in the second half.

“These results were driven by an excellent exchange performance following a very positive start to the football season and improved monetisation of activity,” said departing chief executive David Yu (pictured).

“We expect to make further progress in the second half and remain comfortable with the outlook for the financial year,” he added.

But spending on leisure activities such as gambling will be squeezed, executives noted, as the consumer environment weakens.

“The signs are encouraging but we’re also pragmatic to know that this is really tough times for the leisure spend is tightened, so is the size of the wallet for people to spend on sports betting,” Stephen Morana, chief financial officer and incoming interim chief exec, said.

Morana expects mobile betting to continue its 100 per cent growth rate into the second half, as the company banks on new technology to drive growth.