Betfred Group Limited presented its annual report and consolidated financial statements for the period ended 26 September 2021 to reveal the significant impact of the coronavirus-related closures on its betting outlets.

Key performance indicators

For the 12 months ended 26 September 2021, Betfred generated £6.999 billion ($8.398 billion) in wagers to register an 8% increase compared to £6.483 billion ($7.779 billion) accounted for in the previous comparable period . During the reporting period, Betfred operated through licensed bookmakers and online.

Sums wagered generated a turnover of £526m ($631m), up slightly from the £525m ($630m) the gambling group accounted for as of 26 September 2020, despite higher totals betting. The relatively flat turnover suggests that the operator had less favorable sporting results compared to the previous comparable period.

Gross profit for the period came in at £412 million ($494 million), up slightly from £410 million ($492 million) in the previous 12-month period, implying that costs of sales remained relatively flat.

EBITDA before exceptional items was £46.5 million ($55.8 million), up 31% from £35.3 million ($42.2 million) in the prior comparable period as the EBITDA decline from betting shops was more than offset from Betfred’s online operations.

Operating profit for the year was £26.6m ($31.9m), nearly four times lower compared to £104.5m ($125.4m) in 2020, despite an insignificant outstanding operating loan of £8m ($9.6m) compared to with £99m ($118.8m) in 2020.

The exceptional items credit in 2021 included a net credit of £17.8 million ($21.4 million) related to impairments and provisions, a charge of £7.4 million ($8.9 million) related to the provision of a loan to a related party and a £3.6m ($4.3m) in costs incurred from a potential acquisition that did not materialise.

In 2020, exceptional items included a credit of £97.7m from HMRC due to overpaid VAT on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) between 2005 and 2013, a net credit of £4.1m (4.9 million dollars) in respect of damages and provisions. as well as a £2.6m ($3.1m) charge from a third-party loan write-off.

Betfred’s profit after tax was just £5.3 million ($6.4 million), wiping nearly £160 million ($192 million) off the £165 million ($198 million) reported in 2020, revealing the true nature of the shutdowns’ impact on its retail betting shops from November 2020 to April 2021.

4% of betting shops are discontinued

As of 26 September 2021, Betfred operated 1,470 high street betting outlets, up from 1,529 a year earlier, as the business continually reviews loss-making shops and closes those with no prospects of improvement.

During the reporting period, Betfred launched operations in Arizona to expand its presence from Pennsylvania, Nevada, Iowa, Louisiana and Colorado.

On the M&A front, Betfred acquired 70% of South African sports betting business World (Pty) Ltd.

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