Betfair moves into the red

Suzie Neuwirth

ONLINE gambling firm Betfair, which rejected a £1bn takeover offer last month, today reported annual pre-tax losses of £49m, down from a £54.2m profit the previous year.

Revenues remained flat over the period.

CVC, which was working with Betfair shareholders Richard Koch and Antony Ball, made a 950p-per-share bid for the company last month.

The rejection of the offer has increased the pressure on the firm to make savings and return the company to profit.

“This is a solid set of results in what has been a year of transition for Betfair,” said chief executive Breon Corcoran. “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.”