Exchange betting specialists Betfair have continued their winning ways since the company underwent a drastic restructuring a year ago, with earnings for the three months ending Dec. 31 up 28% to £20.2m. The Interim Management Statement covering Betfair’s fiscal Q3 reported revenue up 5% to £95.4m, with revenue in so-called ‘sustainable’ (aka regulated) markets up 12% to £73.2m while other markets fell 12% to £22.2m. CEO Breon Corcoran (pictured) said his firm had “a good quarter against all key metrics” and the company now expects full-year earnings to come in at the top of the previously issued range of £82m to £87m.
Betfair’s core exchange betting product earned the bulk (£56.7m) of company revenue, but its performance was flat year-on-year and the casino vertical was up a mere 3% to £18.5m. In stark contrast, Betfair’s fixed-odds sportsbook gained 27% to £9.5m and Betfair US – which includes the TVG horseracing operation and the fledgling online gambling offering in New Jersey – rose 24% to £10.4m. Betfair’s sportsbook saw betting handle double year-on-year. Overall mobile revenue rose 68%, driven by sports, where mobile accounted for 60% of revenue while mobile casino revenue trebled.
Corcoran suggested the December 2014 imposition of the UK’s point of consumption tax (POCT) could cost Betfair around £34m annually. To offset this blow, Corcoran said Betfair was “investing heavily” in marketing and product development. Evidence of the former came via Betfair becoming one of two Gold partners for ITV’s football coverage over the next 15 months, just in time for this summer’s FIFA World Cup.
Evidence of the latter comes via the integration of Betfair’s exchange and sportsbook products in the new ‘Price Rush’ feature. Launched in February, Price Rush automatically checks a punter’s fixed-odds wager against the prices offered by Betfair’s thousands of exchange customers and (if warranted) adjusts the odds in the punter’s favor. Corcoran said the feature would mean Betfair “forgoing a bit of margin” but hopes the added value will keep punters coming back for more. Both Ladbrokes and Matchbook launched revamped exchange betting products last year, meaning Betfair has to keep gilding its lily in order to remain competitive.
Down under, Betfair Australia is also ramping up its promotional efforts. The company recently tapped Melbourne creative types CumminsRoss to handle a new £9m ad campaign, the first fruits of which can be seen in the ‘There’s winning and there’s winning” commercial viewable below.