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    BETF   GB00B44JTH01

BETFAIR GROUP LTD

(BETF)
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Betfair to return 200 million pounds to shareholders

12/04/2014 | 02:54am EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Online gambling company Betfair plans a cash return of 200 million pounds to shareholders and higher dividend payouts after posting a 51 percent rise in first half earnings.

The firm, which operates an exchange that allows gamblers to bet against each other, said on Thursday it made core earnings (EBITDA) of 73.9 million pounds in the six months to Oct. 31, on revenue up 26 percent to 237.6 million pounds.

The revenue growth was driven by strong customer base growth, the football World Cup and favourable sports results.

Betfair, which ended the period with 271.4 million pounds of cash, increased its interim dividend by 50 percent to 9 pence a share and raised its medium term dividend payout target to approximately 50 percent of earnings.

It upped its forecast of core profit in the 2014-15 year to 97-103 million pounds to reflect the first half performance and "the momentum we take into the second half".

Shares in Betfair, up 27 percent so far this year, closed Wednesday at 1,368 pence, valuing the business at 1.44 billion pounds.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young)


© Reuters 2014
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BASE CO., LTD. -0.33% 6030 End-of-day quote.-1.95%
BASE, INC. -2.11% 1625 End-of-day quote.-16.75%
RISE, INC. -3.45% 28 End-of-day quote.16.67%
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