Betfred wagers rise to £7bn in 2020-21 despite lockdown effects

Betfred generated almost £7bn ($8.5bn/€8.1bn) in wagers in the most recent financial year as it overcame the impact of lockdown on its retail business to post increased revenue, turnover and adjusted earnings.

In figures released for the 12 months to 26 September 2021, the online and retail operator accepted £6.99bn in wagers which was up 7.87% on the £6.48bn posted in September 2020.

It said that on an annualised gross basis, amounts wagered, revenue and pre-exceptional EBITDA in the group’s licensed betting offices (LBOs) decreased due to Covid-19, as a result of the temporary closure of shops from November 2020 to April 2021. Revenues in the high street business slumped from £301.0m to £244.0m. It closed 59 LBOs, ending the period with 1,470 facilities.

While not giving financial details concerning its online business, it said amounts wagered, turnover and pre-exceptional EBITDA all increased, which led to the overall rise in wagers.

However, the figure was still well down on pre-pandemic times, with £10.10bn wagered in the year to September 2019.

Income during the period was also aided by entry in another US state, with another impact being the acquisition of a 70% share in South African betting business Betting World.

Betfred posted revenue of £525.96m, which was flat compared to 2020, while the group made a gross profit of £412.59m compared to £410.23m in 2020.

Operating profit of £26.6m was significantly down from 2019-20 although this can be attributed to a credit of £97.7m following a successful VAT claim rebate during the prior period. The 2021 figure included a credit to exceptional costs of £8.0m. Administrative expenses increased from £436.0m to £444.0m.

The group announced EBITDA of £46.46m during the period, which was up 31.0% on the £35.31m from the prior period.

Betfred paid a dividend of £50.7m in November 2021 to its shareholders.

Betfred Sports is currently a licensed operator in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arizona and Louisiana, with businesses awaiting regulatory approval in Nevada, Washington and Maryland.

Author: Raymond Fleming