Betfred’s sales gallop onwards

Sales at bookmaker Betfred, an associate company of short term finance provider Goldentree Financial Services, raced ahead by over 17% in the year to March 27 to £4.1bn (2010: £3.5bn) according to BusinessDesk.com.

This was achieved despite a writedown of £8.9m against a series of property-related loans and £2.8m in restructuring costs, relating to both the Tote deal and the transfer of its investment in travel business Sports Tours International outside of the group.

The Warrington-based bookmaker also saw a healthy increase in pre-tax profits to £15.5m (£358,000) during the period, which was prior to its acquisition of the Wigan-based Tote bookmaking business for £265m in June.

The company benefited from increased sales both through the opening of a net 14 new shops, bringing its total to 846, and through contributions from fixed odds betting terminals within shops.

“This has all been achieved whilst maintaining a tight control of overheads,” the company said.

Notes to the accounts provided by the directors stated that its acquisition of the Tote business has “led to considerable integration activities and internal restructuring such that the enlarged Betfred group can maximise the return on its investment”.

Part of the restructuring has seen parent company Lightcatch – owned by the Done family – take a 100% stake in the Betfred business.

By the year end, Lightcatch’s net debt had fallen by over £18m to £19.8m and it had net assets of £74.4m, up from £65.5m in 2010.

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