LONDON (Alliance News) - Betfair Group PLC said Thursday that revenue and profitability rose in its first quarter, driven by the football World Cup and "continued momentum" across its products.
The online betting company said revenue in the three months to July 31 was up 30% to GBP117.4 million from the GBP90.4 million reported last year, driven by the football World Cup, favourable sporting results, an improved performance in its Gaming division and continued growth in Betfair US.
Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation were 39% higher for the quarter at GBP34.5 million from GBP24.9 million last year, due to revenue growth, partly offset by increased marketing spend during the World Cup and continued investment in New Jersey and Italy, said the company.
Excluding the World Cup, revenue was 12% higher for the quarter.
Revenue from Betfair's sustainable markets - the UK, Ireland, USA, Italy, Denmark and Malta - came in at GBP93.7 million, up 34% from GBP69.9 million last year and is up 24% compared with the same period two years ago, which is a more comparable period as it included revenue from Euro 2012, a major international football tournament. Excluding the World Cup, revenue from other markets was down 5% year-on-year, said Betfair, in line with its strategy of focusing investment in regulated jurisdictions.
During the World Cup Betfair customers placed more than 22 million bets. During the 2010 World Cup, this figure came in at 18 million.
Betfair revenue from mobile devices continued at pace during the quarter, up 162%, following "significant product improvements" to its offering, including a new integrated sports-casino native app for iPad and iPhone and fully redesigned apps for both Casino and Arcade. Overall mobile revenue contributed 70% of Sportsbook revenues and 28% of Gaming revenues, up from 45% and 14%, respectively in the first quarter of last year, said the company.
The betting company's new Sportsbook offering proposes to give customers better value and meet demand for promotion-led offers as well as good odds. Betfair said its new products performed strongly with almost one million Sportsbook bets receiving a 'Price Rush,' giving customers an average 24% boost to odds on these bets.
Betfair has been encouraged by its first quarter performance and the momentum of the business, said Chief Executive Breon Corcoran, "accordingly [we] remain confident that we can deliver our expectations for the full year."
Looking ahead the company is focusing on addressing a number of challenges, including its early stage investments in New Jersey online casino and Italy, and said that uncertainty remains in a number of unregulated markets.
In June Betfair Group reported higher profits and revenues in its last financial year, prompting the company to raise its dividend by 54%. For the year ended April 30, the company reported a pretax profit of GBP61.1 million, compared with a GBP49.4 million pretax loss the prior year, when it booked GBP104.5 million in exceptional expenses and charges. The group declared a full-year dividend of 20.0 pence per share, a 54% increase on the 13.0 pence dividend it paid out a year earlier.