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September 2012

Betfair Numbers Boosted By Mobile Gambling

by Renee Israel

Betfair Posts Q1 Figures

Betfair's outgoing Chief Financial Officer, Stephen Morana, said that mobile gambling was one of the key performers in the three month period ending July 31st for the betting exchange.

Betfair mobile betting showed that the number of bets placed by mobile devices on the group's platform rose by 114%, while revenue was up 98%.

"Mobile betting goes from strength to strength, reflecting increasing smartphone penetration, product enhancements and customer familiarity," said Morana. "Mobile usage and revenues doubled and half of all customers in the UK and Ireland placed a mobile bet in the first quarter."

Morana said that Betfair had also continued to deliver important new product upgrades in recent months, including new Android and iPad apps such as Betfair's popular Cash Out facility.

Core Betfair Revenue Up 13%

In its Q1 report, Betfair showed that core revenue rose 13% to £91.6 million, with growth led by sports betting which saw revenue climb 21%.

The UK continued to show strong performance, with revenue up 23% from this direction.

"Revenue growth in the first quarter was primarily driven by Euro 2012, improved monetisation of exchange activity, continued mobile growth and a recovery risk-sports margins," said Morana. "The resulting growth was partially offset by the impact of regulation."

"The UK, our largest market, was our strongest performing region, driven by the continued success of the "Don't Settle for Less" advertising campaign and a great summer of sport," said the CFO.

Challenges Faced by Betfair

However, even as one of the world's largest betting exchange groups, Betfair is not without its own challenges.

The group said that change in the regulatory environment in which it operates has brought challenges in the form of product restrictions and higher levels of taxation.

"This has recently been illustrated in Spain and Cyprus, which have sought to restrict the products that operators can offer, and in Germany, where a turnover tax has been implemented that purports to cover all sports betting," said Morana.

Betfair's new Chief Executive Officer, former Paddy Power CEO, Breon Corcoran, recently stepped into his new role, and will be responsible for taking the group forward as it tackles these regulatory challenges abroad.

Morana will remain in his position as Chief Financial Officer until his replacement has been found. Morana has been part of Betfair for over ten years and he announced to the group that "the time is now right, for both me and the company, to move on."

"Betfair is entering a new era under the leadership of Breon Corcoran and I believe the company has a very bright future ahead of it," he said.

Story Highlights »
  • Core Betfair revenue climbed 13%.
  • CFO speaks of challenging European gambling markets.


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