WEBIS HOLDINGS PLC
(“Webis” or “the Group”)
The board of Webis, the Group specialising in the provision of sports betting, pool wagering and Californian harness racing, provides the following trading update for its subsidiaries betinternet.com (IOM) Limited (“betinternet”) and WatchandWager.com Limited (“WatchandWager”) for the financial year ended 31 May 2013.
betinternet, the Group’s sportsbook, casino, games and poker operation, showed strong revenue growth, compared to the previous year, as the ‘In Play’ content was extended to cover an increasing number of sports and events. In particular, ‘In Play Tennis’ has been especially popular following its launch in early January 2013. Up to twenty live markets are updated after each point on every match in the tennis Grand Slams and the ATP and WTA tours. The gross margin for all sports improved and became more consistent following additional investment in data and pricing feeds, enhancing the overall product offering. Results proved more favourable, especially throughout the second half. Activity within the casino and games achieved revenue growth, although the gross margin was slightly impacted by some large wins in the first half.
WatchandWager, the Group’s tote betting and racetrack operation successfully completed the first full season of Cal Expo harness racing in Sacramento, California. Wagering activity at the track benefitted revenue growth in the second half. Traditional pari-mutuel activity recovered from initial payment issues to end the year in a much stronger position. As with all web-based wagering companies, retaining a consistent and cost-effective credit card payment solution remains a challenge, although the introduction of better payment methods has been a strong driver for new business. The new WatchandWager.com website was launched during the last quarter and now provides for a modem and dynamic platform through which the board anticipates higher-margin player activity to grow.
The acquisition of the Cal Expo operating licence has given the Group a material ‘bricks and mortar’ presence in California and has introduced meaningful leverage into discussions with other racetrack content providers. This operation has led to greater recognition throughout the US racing industry and, combined with a growing team in the San Francisco office, provides for a strong base from which the Group can optimise any legislative changes, both within California and the US as a whole.
The board is very pleased by the tangible progress that both betinternet and WatchandWager have made in the financial year. With many opportunities ahead and a robust balance sheet, the board anticipates a continuation of this growth through the current financial year.
The board expects to announce the Group’s final results for the year ended 31 May 2013 in the latter half of September 2013.