Betfred Clocks Revenue Gains on an Overall Loss for 2017
Gaming operator Betfred is doing its best to navigate the minefield that is the UK gambling industry while still scratching out a profit. That’s a prospect that’s extremely challenging, given factors such as Brexit; new taxes; and a proposed limit on wagers at fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
Under these circumstances, the company reported an overall loss for 2017, despite the fact that its retail operations are quite healthy and are actually seeing a rise in their sales. Such is life in the UK-facing gambling industry.
The privately held company released its figures for 2017 earlier this week declaring a revenue of 9.6% for the year on to £634.5 million ($840 million USD). Those sales boosted overall earnings 3 percent to £83.3 million ($110 million USD).
Most of Betfred’s revenue gains were reported on the retail side of the business. This is due, in part, to Betfred’s 2016 acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral’s 322 betting shops back in 2016 along with a significant boost in its online gambling revenues. These gains, however, could be completely undone should the UK move forward with its plan to limit FOBT stakes. Furthermore, the online side of the business could be deeply impacted by the UK’s move out of the European Union.
Despite its gains in retail, Betfred reported a loss of £13.4 million ($17.7 million USD) for the year in form of operational losses after recording a profit of £32.4m the previous year.
Recording losses is never a fun situation for any company but Betfred’s troubles were compounded by criticism in the media over company founder Fred Done taking a £10.2 million ($13.5 million USD) dividend.