This will please all the folks paying the premium charge...
Betfair set fair for a float
The odds shortened today on a flotation of Betfair after the world's largest betting exchange reported soaring revenues and profits.
In stark contrast to the falling business in the High Street bookmakers as witnessed yesterday by a profit warning from William Hill, Betfair today reported revenues of £303 million in the year to the end of April, up 27% year on year and double where they were three years ago.
Without seeing the annual report, I'm guessing a big chunk of those increased profits come from the casino. They certainly won't be coming from the dreadful poker application, and while the exchange continues to move forward, it is now very mature, although international volume continues to grow. Oh, and of course, there was a major football tournament (Euro 2008) last year which always helps.
A float has always been on the cards, it has just been a matter of when. They will wait patiently until the market is strong again before going to the market. It's not like they need to, they have huge cash reserves, they just have to offer a buy-out option later this year when the next ronud of staff options mature.