£120m retail costs see Betfred report second year of corporate losses

Filing its 2017/18 corporate accounts with Companies House, UK bookmaker Betfred has declared an operating loss of £40 million.

Publishing its corporate performance for the year-ending 30 September 2018, Betfred governance has attributed circa £120 million in ‘exceptional costs’ attached to retail writedowns, as the bookmaker is forced to adjust to UK betting’s FOBTs £2 wagering reduction.

The results see Betfred post a further year of corporate losses, with the bookmaker having declared 2016/17 operating loss of £14 million attributed to increased costs and higher tax adjustments.

Despite reporting consecutive yearly losses, Betfred declares improved topline metrics, with the betting group increasing its 2017/18 corporate revenues by 15% to £728 million (2016/17: £634m).

In its filing, Betfred governance details that corporate revenue performance has been driven by an ‘expansion of retail estates’ combined with an ‘increase in online customers’.

Reporting on corporate earnings before exceptional costs, Betfred records a group EBITDA of £120 million, up 43% on 2016/17’s £83 million.

An audit breakdown reveals that Betfred paid £155 million in tax charges during the period, in which the bookmaker paid £55 million in betting duties, £87 million in gaming machine charges and further £13 million towards UK racing’s statutory betting levy.

In its strategic report, Betfred governance details a year of external changes, as the bookmaker ceased its UK racing on-course betting operations, as its management of horseracing pools ended.

Moving forward, Betfred governance details that it will maintain ‘tight control of overheads’, as the company continues to review its retail estates and optimise the performance of its online business.

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