Betfair looks for World Cup boost after profit tops forecast

LONDON: Online gambling exchange Betfair said it hoped the World Cup would provide a boost to business after its annual profit came in ahead of forecast on Wednesday.

Betfair, which operates an exchange that allows gamblers to bet against each other, has been slimming down its operations and cutting costs under Chief Executive Breon Corcoran, seeking to focus on fewer markets where returns are more secure.

"The emphasis on sustainable revenues and our product and marketing investments are paying off, resulting in record revenues and profits," Corcoran said in a statement.

Revenue rose 2 percent to 393.6 million pounds in the year to April 30, while underlying EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) increased 24 percent to 91.1 million pounds. Betfair had previously forecast EBITDA would be at the top end of the a 82-87 million pound range.

The company said the improved profitability was driven by cost savings which exceeded a target of 30 million pounds.

"Our strong trading has continued into the new financial year and we look forward to building on this positive momentum during the World Cup," added Corcoran.

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