Covid-19 restrictions see Betfred profits fall by £200m

Betfred has reported a fall of nearly £200m ($240.5m) in pre-tax profits for the 12 months until 26 September 2021.

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Profit after taxation for the 2020 period stood at £165m; however, this fell to just £5.3m for the 2021 period.

In a financial report, the company commented on the impact Covid-19 restrictions had on its business operations, detailing the closure of all its licensed betting offices (LBOs) on 20 March 2020, with further local and national lockdowns throughout the next year causing more closures and disruption. The report said that “the impact on revenue and cash is significant.”

Despite a fall in pre-tax profit, the company reported a rise in turnover for the period, increasing by approximately £1m to £525.9m. Additionally, gross profit rose from £410.2m to £412.6m.

The disparity in these figures can be attributed to a marked increase in users of Betfred's online gambling services, which worked to offset the losses the company faced through betting shop closures.

This can be seen reflected in the amounts wagered at the company, rising from £6.4bn to just under £7bn.

Furthermore, the company reported a rise in the average number of employees, from 7,000 to just under 7,500.

A board statement said: "On an annualised gross basis, amounts wagered, turnover and pre-exceptional EBITDA in the group's LBOs for the period has decreased due to Covid-19 as a result of the temporary closure of shops from November 2020 to April 2021.

"However, amounts wagered, turnover and pre-exceptional EBITDA for internet operations has increased resulting in an overall increase."

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