Betfair on course to hit top end of profit targets
Online gambling exchange Betfair said that it was on course to reach the top end of its profit guidance as investments in Italy and New Jersey prove less expensive than feared.
Betfair also announced it had signed a deal with British commercial TV company ITV to buy key advertising slots during World Cup and Champions League soccer games, raising the profile of the company.
Betfair has been slimming down its operations and cutting costs under chief executive Breon Corcoran, seeking to focus on fewer markets where returns are more secure.
Under Mr Corcoran, Betfair has also developed its more conventional "sportsbook" betting, where the bookmaker sets the odds.
That broadens its appeal to mainstream gamblers but brings it into more direct competition with William Hill and Paddy Power.
Mr Corcoran said the integration of the exchange and sportsbook betting would allow it to offer improved odds on some bets.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 28pc to £20.2m (€24.4m) in the three months to the end of January, Betfair said.
"We now expect EBITDA for the full year to be towards the upper end of the previously guided range of between £82m and £87m," the company added.