Betfair boost in profits in justification of business decisions

Pressure eases on CEO Breon Corcoran


Betfair’s profits rose to the sum of 16% in the six months up to the end of October, a good return and having a year of consolidation. The profits announced came in just above the average that the City had projected for them. Fortunately for the betting exchange, some of their business decisions were justified after rejecting a £1 billion takeover by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners in May.

A big summer of sport, which made up for the lack of a major summer football tournament, played a big hand in the profits for Betfair. The attention that was on Wimbledon this year was immense as British fans were keenly tracking the progress of the big guns, while hoping that Andy Murray would end a long wait for a British men’s champion. Murray of course did win, but the bets coming in on matches throughout the tournament, carried in favour of the bookmaker.

A nice English summer also played a big part in the profits for the betting exchange. There was the big Ashes series in the summer as punters followed the fortunes of England and Australia, and the relatively rain-free summer was also a big boon for the horseracing industry too. Bettors were able to enjoy a lot of racing over the summer, a marked improvement over the summer fortunes of 2012.

The online betting exchange pulled out of Germany, Greece and Cyprus because of coming up against some grey legislative areas in being able to offer their services. However, that didn’t mean a total cutback, because Betfair were keen to push forward in the UK, Denmark, Italy, Malta and the US, where regulations are more clearly laid out. The company increased its interim dividend by half to 6p per share.

Betfair have also raised their game and the appeal of their conventional sports book betting where they set the odds. The regular sportsbook runs alongside the famous betting exchange, so punters can decide to go either way. The appeal of Betfair offering regular betting puts them direct competition with rivals William Hill, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes.

Betfair CEO Breon Corcoran said: “We continue to see evidence that our exchange and sportsbook products are complementary.”