Webis Hopeful for 2010 Despite Poor Sports Margins

30th October 2009 8:33 am GMT

Webis Holdings plc said Friday that the company's overall performance for the first five months of its financial year have been below management expectations, impacted by adverse football results on the betinternet.com fixed odds sportsbook and a downturn in high-roller play within its online casinos.

Webis said that its pari-mutuel operation, European Wagering Services, continued to generate growth despite a backdrop of generally negative industry trends, with lower than expected racetrack attendances in the U.S and reduced betting pools.

Link2bet.com continues to experience consistent month-on-month growth, offsetting a reduction in business through the company's call centre. Going forward, the company said that it would continue to increase marketing spend on the site to attract higher margin leisure players, in particular using promotions in U.S focused horse and greyhound related media.

Webis is also committed to increased marketing activity within Europe during the Breeders' Cup, which takes place in California next week, where a strong contingent of European horses will be taking on the best from the U.S. EWS has obtained fully authorised access rights to the official racetrack pools for the prestigious event.

Turnover through the betinternet.com sportsbook remained consistent compared to last year's final quarter level, despite adverse football results negatively impacting the company's gross margin.

The business also suffered a downturn in high-roller play within its casinos, and as a result the company's overall margin for the first half of the year so far, including casino and games, has been lower than expected. betinternet has continued to both increase the variety of markets on offer and enhance the sportsbook's internal systems, with a view to generating a sustained increase in the margin during the second half of the year.

Webis said that trading conditions over the last few weeks have improved and the Board remains optimistic as to its prospects for the rest of the current financial year.

Shares in Webis Holdings plc (Co. Profile) (AIM:WEBIS) have dropped 3.69% to 3.13 pence per share in London this morning following the announcement.

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