Insights Into Betfair

Transformation yielding results says CFO

Some interesting insights into Betfair were revealed in a Financial Director.co.uk interview with Betfair's chief financial officer, Alex Gersh this week.
Gersh pointed out that the FTSE 250 company's share price has risen 300 percent in just two years, saying he has been integrally involved in transforming the business into a "more profitable beast".
"Our profitability has sky-rocketed over the past couple of years since we came in and restructured the business and our share price is up 300%. So you need a regime like the UK that has a certainty of outcome. Taxes are part of life — you pay them."
The transformation included "taking 700 people out of the business" – saving GBP 30 million, making the business more transparent, "communicating with investors in a different way" and simplifying direct channels to Breon Corcoran, Mark Brooker and himself.
"I think the restructuring that we had to go through — letting go of 700 people and continuing to drive the business forward — was a big challenge. But that's over. The right people are in the right jobs now. We took a lot of middle management out — all they do is pass the message from the top to the bottom — and you don't need that, quite frankly," he said.
"People say it's more fun to work here now. And I think professionals ultimately just want to do something they're proud of and look back on the year and say, 'I did that'.
Betfair's TVG acquisition of HRTV is expected to be a key move for the company in the next seven or eight years as well as a presence in the liberalisation of previously inaccessible markets.
Gersh touched on Betfair's Italian business saying "the jury's still out" on its success in a very tough market with a "massive number of operators".
The full interview can be read at: http://www.financialdirector.co.uk/financial-director/interview/2409637/interview-betfair-cfo-alex-gersh

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