Source:betinternet.combetinternet.com preliminary results for 12 months to 31st May 2000
2nd October, 2000
betinternet.com plc ("betinternet") is an Isle of Man-based international on-line and telephone betting service provider. The Company floated on AIM in May 2000
It gives me pleasure to report on betinternet.comís first set of annual results since the Companyís flotation on the Alternative Investment Market in May 2000. These results cover the 12 months to 31st May 2000. The first nine months of the year were incorporated in the flotation prospectus.
For the period under review turnover rose more than sevenfold to almost £11.7 million, compared with only £1.54 million for the 17 months to 31st May 1999. As we anticipated at the time of the flotation the Company has produced pre-tax losses of £1.04 million, (against £303,682, for the period to 31st May 1999), reflecting our commitment to substantial investment in technological infrastructure and marketing. As a result there was a loss per share of 3.01p compared with a loss of 1.69p per share for the previous period. The Directors do not recommend payment of a dividend.
Since the flotation substantial progress has been made on a number of fronts. As we stated in the prospectus we have continued our strategy of reducing our reliance on horse racing. This sport now accounts for less than 40% of our turnover compared with approximately 90% a year ago.
Betting on soccer now represents approximately 40% of turnover. The European Soccer Championships during the summer enabled the Company to combine with Eurosport TV to provide Eurosport viewers with the ability to bet "in running" (ie during the match) on those matches given live coverage by the Eurosport channel. The Company now offers betting facilities on a much wider range of sports including golf, rugby, American Football, Ice Hockey, Basketball, Gaelic Football, Formula 1, and international greyhound and horse racing to Internet customers in 85 countries. Customers have the choice of telephone and Internet betting.
Turnover has risen dramatically since flotation. For the first four months of the current financial year turnover totalled over £14 million, a figure in excess of the whole of the previous financial year, and is currently running at a rate of approximately £1.3 million per week, compared with £340,000 at the time of the flotation. The proportion of turnover attributable to Internet betting is in line with our expectations and is expected to continue to grow considerably.
We have now launched our own Far East website, www.fadainternet.com, which is a sports information portal and supported by a dedicated team of Cantonese and Mandarin speakers, as part of our drive into this large and exciting market.
We have successfully negotiated an agreement with a major international bank which will enable the provision of fully automated e-commerce transactability from our website in eight major currencies. This will enhance further the attractiveness and usability of our site and is expected to be operational by the end of November 2000.
Today we announced a further expansion of our service through the formation of Euro Off-Track Limited Partnership, a 50-50 partnership with Greyhound Channel, Inc. of America to enable, for the first time, non-United States customers to bet directly into US Totes through the provision of live broadcasts of US greyhound and thoroughbred horse racing from more than 30 tracks. It is anticipated that the service will be available from the end of this year.
In the US GCI provides live greyhound racing content for "direct to home" broadcasting via The Racing Network and an internet tote wagering service. GCIís racing content will be made available to Euro Off-Track, enabling it to provide live racing, initially via satellite, to a variety of users including betting shops, casinos and other forms of licensed premises. It is intended that this service will be available, in due course, generally via the Internet. It is also proposed that Euro Off-Track will provide live non-US greyhound racing content for transmission in the US.
The partnership will also create a European hub and wagering communications centre, through the installation of an Amtote Spectrum System and replication of GCIís existing US system, enabling real time links directly into US Totes. In addition it creates the opportunity for links with European Totes.
Euro Off-Track will be the first organisation to make US Tote betting via the Internet and the telephone a reality for both individuals and corporate customers alike. Euro Off-Track will provide a unique gateway to betinternetís customers and those of other betting service providers to participate in global Tote opportunities at no wagering risk to either the partnership or betinternet.
Euro Off-Track will retain a proportion of turnover generated through the hub. In the US GCI comprises a number of partners with a combined Tote betting turnover of approximately $500m.
On behalf of the Board I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our employees for their hard work and their continuing commitment during what has been a very exciting and demanding period in the Companyís development. During the year a significant number of new employees with a broad range of technical and language skills joined the Company and I am delighted to announce that our operations officers, Pat Flanagan and Sean Graham will join the Board with effect from 1st November, 2000.
Since the flotation the Company has made considerable progress. We intend to pursue expansion both by way of organic growth and through new partnerships as well as, possibly, through mergers and acquisitions. Further funds will be necessary in due course in order to maximise the Euro Off-Track potential and for further expansion.
I believe that betinternet.com is well placed to achieve its objective of creating and providing a borderless platform for fixed odds and totalisator wagering accessible to both private and corporate clients via both the Internet and telephone.