Impressive Full Year Results From Betfair

Product and marketing investment drives record customer activity, and investors will be pleased with a proposed 70 percent rise in dividend

The publicly listed online gambling firm Betfair Group plc has published an impressive set of preliminary Full Year 2015 results, flagging the following high points:
* Revenues up 21 percent at £476.5 million;
* Sustainable revenue up 27 percent to £388.5 million;
* Sustainable revenue mix now 82 percent of Group revenue (FY14: 78 percent);
* EBITDA up 32 percent to £120.2 million (up 53 percent excluding UK POC tax);
* EPS of 85.9 p up 75 percent;
* Underlying free cash flow up 47 percent to £103.8 million, leading to a year-end cash balance of £105.1 milion;
* Active customer numbers up 52 percent to 1.7 million;
* New customer acquisition up 65 percent following increased marketing investment;
* The number of customers cross-sold from Sports to Gaming up 100 percent;
* TVG acquired HRTV and secured long-term contents rights, providing an opportunity for further growth;
* Proposed full year dividend up 70 percent to 34 pence per share;
Quarter 4 highlights reported by the company included:
* Active customers up 46 percent to 1 million (up 58 percent in sustainable markets);
* Revenue up 13 percent to £124.3 million (up 18 percent in sustainable markets);
* EBITDA up 3 percent to £22.7 million (up 60 percent excluding UK POC tax).
Chief executive Breon Corcoran said Wednesday:
"FY15 has been an excellent year for Betfair. We are successfully executing our strategy and achieving profitable scale in sustainable markets. Our investments are working, the business now operates at pace and our people have a strong will to win.
"The financial year started with the World Cup, which allowed us to engage with many new and existing customers and gain trading momentum. This carried on throughout the rest of the year, culminating in record customer numbers and betting volumes at the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National meeting.
"Product is a key reason why customers join and stay with Betfair. Important product improvements, including the extension of Price Rush to each way bets and Cash Out to in-running horseracing, helped to drive a strong performance during these key racing festivals.
"We continue to invest heavily in the business. This year we spent c.£28 million more on marketing and customer bonuses and added more than 60 people to our product development teams.
"Our "Tap Tap Boom" advertising campaign has been effective in showing the simplicity of using Betfair, especially through our market-leading mobile apps. We are sustaining our marketing investment throughout the upcoming season, including leading slots on Sky Sports and BT Sport's football coverage.
"Betfair is well positioned for further growth and we look forward to building on these results in FY16".

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