The board of Webis Holdings plc, the global on-line gaming group, is pleased to provide the following trading update in relation to the Company’s performance for the financial year ended 31 May 2009.
The Company has generated strong year-on-year growth in trading, both within its sportsbook operation, betinternet.com ("betinternet") and its pari-mutuel business, European Wagering Services ("EWS"). The board is particularly encouraged that this growth, which is attributed to the Company’s ability to adapt and innovate in a fast-moving industry, has been achieved despite the challenging economic environment. We believe that the Company is well-placed to continue to increase its market share in the coming months.
Growth in EWS’ business has been achieved despite a general backdrop of falling revenues across the pari-mutuel industry in the United States. Encouragingly, EWS has generated an increase in player numbers through its link2bet.com website as the customer-focused enhancements introduced have begun to have a positive effect. EWS’ B2B business has remained resilient, although our call-centre business has shown some volatility in throughput. The board remains optimistic that the ongoing investment in the website will provide a strong platform for growth during the forthcoming financial year.
betinternet has generated a sustained increase in revenues across all of its business streams, and especially from its fixed-odds sports betting channel, during the second half of the year. This uplift has been driven by both the Company’s continued investment in targeted marketing and the launch of a new affiliates’ program in November 2008. The introduction of new content, including the upgraded ‘In-Running’ football product, has also been a strong driver of revenue growth for the business. However, the overall sportsbook gross margin remains lower than the board is targeting and the fixed-odds margin in particular was impacted by some unfavourable results in the last weeks of the European football season. Following the implementation of our targeted marketing program, our UK business now accounts for a higher proportion of sportsbook revenues than previously, although total revenues are still largely dominated by business from the Far East. Demand for betinternet’s online casinos and games remains resilient and still accounts for approximately two-thirds of the sportsbook’s total revenue.
The Company expects to release its preliminary results announcement for the year ended 31 May 2009 during September 2009.