Betfair to begin share buy-back programme

Betfair to begin share buy-back programme

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Online betting and gaming operator Betfair Group is to commence a share buy-back programme to make market purchases of up to £50m of its ordinary shares over the next 12 months. Betfair was listed on London Stock Exchange in October 2010 and at that time raised no new money as the company already benefited from a very strong balance sheet. Today, the company announced full year results for the 12 months to 30 April 2011. At that date, the company had cash or cash equivalents amounting to £155m. The results highlight the very strong cash generative nature of the business with Betfair delivering net cashflow from operations of over £60m in the year. Betfair has previously returned capital to shareholders – in 2008 the company returned £112m as part of a court approved scheme of arrangement. The company has also to begin a regular dividend payment, with the payment of a final dividend of 5.9 pence per share to be made following shareholder approval at the company's 2011 AGM, which is scheduled to be held on September 22. Had the company been listed for the whole of the year ended April 30, 2011, the total dividend for the year would have been 8.9 pence per share. David Yu, Betfair CEO, commented: "We have a plan in place to deliver long-term shareholder value through a combination of accelerating our revenue growth, driving further margin improvement and returning excess cash to shareholders. The share buy-back programme is one element of this plan. "We have always been a very cash generative business which allows us to both invest for the future and return cash to shareholders. Our balance sheet remains strong and provides us with the flexibility to react to the fast changing environment in which we operate."
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