Webis Shares Soar on Profitable Year

23rd September 2009 8:07 am GMT

Benefiting from a number of advances within its European Wagering Services pari-mutuel business, as well as strong growth from its betinternet.com sportsbook operation, Webis Holdings plc has reported a 20% increase in group turnover to £140 million for the year ended May 31st 2009, helping the company achieve an operating profit of £475,000, its best result to date.

Webis' European Wagering Services business remained the company's prime source of earnings during the year, with turnover increasing by 6% to £32.3 million, as developments to the upgraded link2bet.com website generated a better balance of revenues across its three routes to market, call centre, website and direct hub access. The pari-mutuel business earned a profit before tax of £531,000 during the year.

Turnover from the betinternet.com sports book rose by 24% to £107.9 million during the year, as a result of increased marketing spend, the launch of a new affiliates' scheme last year, and the introduction of an enhanced 'In-Running' football offering. Overall margin was impacted however by a series of poor football results and a reduction in casino contributions, leading to a loss before tax of £41,000.

Overall the company achieved a gross profit of £3.4 million for the year, up 23% year-on-year.

Operating expenses rose marginally during the year to £2.6 million as the company continued its commitment to invest in sportsbook marketing, while also improving its technical systems by investing in hardware upgrades for both EWS and betinternet. As a result the company's profit for the period amounted to £452,000, versus a loss of £347,000 last year.

Webis continues to be heavily reliant on the Far Eastern markets, accounting for 58% of total turnover, while the UK and Europe contributed 7% and 8% respectively. The company's pari-mutuel operations in the U.S accounted for 23% of the total, while the rest of the world contributed the remaining 4%.

"I am pleased to be in the position of reporting a strong improvement in the figures for the last financial year, which covered a period of uncertainty throughout the global economy," said Denham Eke, Chairman of Webis Holdings plc.

"Webis Holdings has strengthened its position within its target markets through an increased marketing spend, which has enhanced revenue streams in the group".

So far this year EWS' trading has performed in line with management expectations, with a 31% increase in active customers using the link2bet service and online turnover up by 26% during the first quarter. The company's Board is optimistic about the outlook for EWS for the rest of the year.

Last month Webis launched a 'smartphone' application for betinternet, providing a significantly enhanced user experience for its customers. The company said that the launch has so far been well received by its customers, especially in Asia.

As at May 31st the company held cash and cash equivalents of £1.3 million compare to £1.0 million last year.

Shares in Webis Holdings plc (Co. Profile) (AIM:WEB) have soared 31.18% to trade at 3.45 pence per share in London this morning following the announcement.

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