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Betfair counts on mobile growth

Mobile gambling up 94 percent on last year

Betfair has reported strong growth in its mobile business, despite a seven percent fall in core revenue.

In its interim management statement today for the three months to 31 July (Q1 FY12), the internet betting exchange said that it had recorded 7.4 million bets on its mobile products, leading to £4.2 million of revenue. This was up 94 percent and 78 percent, respectively, compared to the same quarter last year.

"Our mobile products have seen particularly strong customer traction in the quarter, with around one third of sports customers using a mobile device to place a bet," said David Yu, CEO of Betfair.

"The 7.4 million mobile bets placed in the quarter was almost double the number made in the same period last year. The broad reach of our mobile products across 17 languages and multiple platforms gives us a strong base for continued growth."

In June, Betfair deployed a new messaging system, SonicMQ from Progress Software, to aid its expansion into new markets.

Despite the strong performance in the mobile division, the company's core revenue had fallen seven percent to £80.8 million. However, Yu maintained a positive outlook.

"I am pleased with our performance in the quarter," he said. "Betting Exchange revenue was flat compared to Q1 FY11, which was significantly boosted by the World Cup, and is up 19 percent over the last two years.

"The Exchange continues to be vibrant and, importantly, we have started to deliver on our plan to improve the monetisation of this activity through the dual levers of more customer education and targeted pricing changes."

He added that the company remained "comfortable" with the outlook for the next year.

Meanwhile, Betfair's latest update on its customer commitment charter revealed a number of areas where the company had made progress on, and also missed, its targets.

For example, the company promises to have a 99.9 percent target uptime for its Exchange, which it missed, achieving 99.74 percent. This was due to Exchange outages on two days in July, caused by hardware failure on one of its primary network switches and planned network maintenance.

However, Betfair was able consistently exceed its target of having 99.9 percent of bets placed in less than one second since the beginning of May. In addition, the company said it was continuing to improve its web architecture and is working towards its target of three seconds for a full page load.


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