Keeping Dividends Close to the Dones, Right Said Betfred
Manchester-origin betting Omni-channel Betfred–both an online and retail powerhouse–generated a handle of almost £7 billion (US$8.34bn/€8.19bn) in its most recent Financial Year, ending September 26, 2021 – up nearly eight per cent, year-on-year.
Despite the temporary closure of its 1,500-odd high street betting shops, the bookies–founded by now-billionaire brothers Fred and Peter Done in 1967–managed to successfully outride the treacherous waves of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.
Not surprisingly, given the five months of UK bricks-and-mortar closure between November 2020 and April 2021, Betfred’s Retail revenue fell by £57 million (US$67.96m/€66.68m) in its FY2021 — from the £301 million (US$358.88m/€352.15m) it posted the previous year.
Nevertheless, while the company did not supply a detailed financial analysis, Betfred’s iGaming income surged across all online metrics — and allowed the brothers to pay themselves and their other family shareholders a tasty dividend of £50.7 million (US$60.45m/€59.31m).
And total income was boosted by Betfred buying a 70 per cent stake in a South African firm called Betting World, and the company’s growing online sports betting portfolio in America.
The Betfred Sports online brand, run out of Gibraltar, is currently licensed in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. They will soon be joined by Maryland, Nevada, and Washington State.
Overall, the group posted a gross profit of £412.59 million (US$491.93m/€482.7m) — compared to £410.23 million in 2020 (US$489.13m/€479.95m).
Operating profit was called at £26.6 million (US$31.71m/€31.12m), while pre-tax profit was measured as £6 million for the year (US$7.15m/€7.01m).
Betfred’s handle still has a ways to go before it climbs back to the magic £10 billion mark (US$11.92bn/€11.7bn) hit in its penultimate, pre-Covid, financial year, ending September 2019.
But for the moment most industry watchers would concur: It’s “Right Said” Betfred.