03/07/2012 : AUSSIE TENNIS BOOSTS BETFAIR Q3 RESULTS
 
GBP 50 million wagered on Australian Open
 
Betfair's third quarter results released Tuesday received a welcome boost from the Australian Open tennis tournament, where mainly online punters placed some GBP50 million in bets.
 
The world's largest betting exchange posted an 11 percent rise in third quarter revenue, beating market expectations, with strong demand for betting on the Australian Open tennis and to a lesser extent horse racing driving growth.
 
Betfair said that in-play betting was particularly popular during the tennis tournament, in which Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadel battled it out in an exciting five set final.
 
"We had our best ever Australian Open, which culminated in almost 50 million pounds ($79 million) of bets being placed in the final," acting Chief Executive Stephen Morana said in a statement.
 
Betfair's third quarter revenue rose to GBP 85.3 million ($135.4 million), beating Reuters forecasts of GBP 84.8 million.
 
The company has struggled since it listed on the London Stock Exchange in October 2010, seeing its share price fall by a third on the back of intensifying competition from rivals such as William Hill and concerns over the tightening of gambling laws in some parts of Europe, Reuters news agency reported.
 
The company's response has seen the launch of a marketing campaign, drawing attention to the more generous odds that it offers gamblers compared with bookmakers.
 
On Monday, the company launched "Betfair Everywhere" , which enables customers who download the programme to see Betfair odds appear against those of other betting firms when they visit competitors' websites.
 
The company confirmed Tuesday that founder Ed Wray would step down as chairman and be replaced by ex-Railtrack chief executive and city veteran Gerald Corbett.