ighlights for year to 30 April 2009 include a strong profit and cash generation, that leaves Betfair with us$ 225.3 million in cash and no debt. Besides, core betting exchange continues to deliver a sustainable competitive advantage and it had an adjusted ebitda of us$ 121.9 million, up 29 % from 2008, despite significant investment.
The acquisition of TVG Network gives Betfair a market-leading position in legal US online wagering and international customers now account for 49 % of total revenues (2008: 44%).
Continued investment in technology enables on average 6.4 million transactions to be matched every day
A full calendar of sporting events and the confidence customers have in the security of Betfair’s ringfenced funds attracted record numbers of users to the company’s site. The number of active users increased to 652,000, an increase of 25 % on the previous year. Betfair now holds us$ 406.6 million of customer monies on deposit in ringfenced accounts.
The Group performed well across all its operations. Revenue from its sports business grew by 20%, making Betfair the biggest online sports operator in Europe. The company also saw 31% revenue growth in its games division, driven by the launch of Arcade and other new products. Much of its growth has come from customers outside the UK, who contributed 49 % of total revenues last year, up from 44 % in 2008. In Australia, the lifting of an advertising ban led to a 40 % growth in revenue.
In the US, Betfair’s us$ 50 million acquisition of TVG Network, the largest legal wagering business in America, positions the company to take advantage of any legislative change. The company now holds licences in the UK, Italy, Malta, Germany, Austria, the US and Australia, and continues to work with governments worldwide to push for a regulated approach to the further liberalisation of gambling markets.
David Yu, CEO of Betfair, said: “This has been a phenomenally successful year for Betfair. We have stayed on the path of sustainable long-term growth, even in recession. Our relentless focus on value for the customer, our substantial investments in technology and the importance we place on regulatory affairs means that the business is well positioned for a leading role globally. We will continue to push into international markets and to innovate with popular new products, and I look forward to another exciting year ahead.”
Its CFO Stephen Morana said: “We are delighted that our three-year investment plan has been so successful. In that period, the business has doubled in size. We believe our strong balance sheet, with no debt, makes us very well positioned to take advantage of further opportunities as they arise, in particular our US venture and planning towards World Cup 2010.”