Betfred hit by annual loss despite revenue increase
Betfred has reported an annual operating loss of £13.4m (€15.3m/$17.8m), despite posting an increase in revenue and earnings.
Revenue at the privately-held bookmaker during the 12 months to September 24, 2017, came in at £634.5m, up by 9.6% on the previous year, while earnings also improved 3% year-on-year to £83.3m.
Total gambling turnover for the Betfred retail, online and Tote businesses was up 17.5% to £12.7bn.
Regulus Partners said online revenue at the firm improved 3% on a year-on-year basis to £90m, while revenue from the Tote hiked 12% to £329m.
However, despite reporting financial success across various divisions, the eight-figure loss comes after Betfred last year enjoyed a profit of £32.4m.
Betfred has cited a drop on a goodwill impairment of its digital assets, as well as rising costs and higher gaming duties as the main reasons behind losses in the 12-month period.
Regulus Partners analysts also suggested that Betfred could be set for further challenges in the near future due to regulation changes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
Analysts noted that 83% of Betfred earnings were generated from its network of retail shops, where FOBTs are placed.
However, the UK government in May confirmed the maximum stake on FOBTs will be cut from £100 to just £2 in an effort to address problem gambling.
Prior to the confirmation of these changes, Betfred managing director Mark Stebbing had urged the government to rethink its plans, saying cutting the maximum stake would result in huge job losses across the industry, as well as a sharp drop in the amount the government tax in from gambling taxes.
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