Betfair braced for weather hit


Betfair said cancelled race meetings in the current quarter would moderate growth rates

Gambling firm Betfair has continued its poor run of form on the stock market after it revealed revenues would be hit by the big freeze.

In its first set of results as a public-listed company, Betfair said cancelled race meetings in the current quarter would moderate growth rates, despite a strong overall trend led by its core sport of football.

The firm’s shares fell by 10% and have declined around 34% since it floated on the stock market in October, even though it has said it remained confident it will achieve full-year earnings in line with its expectations.

The company posted a 12% decline in pre-tax profits to £6.8 million in the six months to October 31, after costs associated with its listing were deducted. Revenues, driven by increased betting during the World Cup, were up 27% at £213.3 million.

Betfair claims to be one of the world’s largest online sports betting operators, with more than 3 million registered users.

It acts as a betting exchange, matching individual betters to each other. Users can choose the odds at which they want to place a bet, while they can also bet both that an outcome will happen and that it will not happen.

The results were slightly below consensus forecasts, analysts said.

Chief executive David Yu said: “Trading in the third quarter began on a stronger overall trend than the second quarter in sports, again led by football.

“Recent weather conditions in the UK and Ireland, however, caused a number of race meeting cancellations, moderating overall growth rates in the quarter to date.”

The company said it planned to “address challenges” in racing and poker, which has also been struggling recently, with product enhancements and new initiatives.

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