'Transformed' Betfred posts growth in shops and online after strong British racing results

City Of Troy: an impressive winner of the Derby
Betfred: sponsors all five British Classics, including the Derby won by City Of TroyCredit: John Grossick (

Turnover and earnings grew last year for Betfred with industry analysts Regulus Partners determining that the group had benefited from “strong” British racing results that had contributed to growth of eight per cent year-on-year in its betting shops and 26 per cent year-on-year online.

The group, however, reported an overall loss for the year ended October 1, 2023 of nearly £72 million, primarily due to exceptional costs associated with its US venture.

Company accounts filed on Monday for Betfred Group Limited showed turnover increasing by 26 per cent to £907,987,000 with Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) reported at £117,115,000, up from £67,783,000 the previous year. 

Exceptional costs totalled £60.9m for the year, with around £46m the result of write-offs and write-downs in its US business.

Betfred paid £12,589,000 in statutory levy and, according to Regulus, generates more revenue from its British betting shops than William Hill, to which it has a comparable estate, and the strongest revenue per shop other than Paddy Power.

Betfred also acquired a 51 per cent stake in South African betting operator LottoStar last year, as well as Sharp Gaming. There was no dividend paid by Betfred to the Done family, according to the accounts.

In a note published on Wednesday, Regulus said: "Strong GB horseracing results delivered eight per cent growth, while other betting grew by four per cent. Betfred now generates more revenue from GB betting shops than Evoke’s William Hill and is of comparable size in terms of shop estate to both William Hill and Ladbrokes. Betfred also now has the strongest revenue per shop of any major operator other than Flutter."

The note added: “Betfred has transformed itself from a highly traditional UK land-based betting company to a successful omnichannel business in the UK with over 20 per cent of revenue generated elsewhere. Few would have expected Betfred to be in such a strong position in 2024, just five years ago."

Continuous: an emphatic winner of the St Leger under Ryan Moore
Betfred: recently added the 2,000 Guineas to their sponsorship portfolioCredit: John Grossick Racing

Alongside a resurgence in its business, Betfred has increasingly bolstered its involvement in British racing through sponsorship. Last month, Betfred became the first organisation to sponsor all five Classics in Britain at the same time when signing a deal to take on the 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket from 2025. Betfred already sponsored the Derby, Oaks and St Leger.

As part of the agreement, Betfred founder Fred Done announced a £2m bonus would be paid to any horse winning the Triple Crown. He said: “I'm honoured as a bookmaker to be supporting the sport that I love. I want to put the British Classics back where they belong, at the forefront of global horseracing.”

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Deputy industry editor

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