March 7, 2013 / 7:40 AM / in 5 years

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Betfair on track to hit lowered targets

LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) - Online betting exchange Betfair said on Thursday it was on course to hit lowered targets for this financial year as it retreats from markets where regulation is not clear cut.

Group revenues fell 4 percent to 90.5 million pounds ($136.2 million) in the three months to the end of January.

“UK revenue was up 6 percent driven by the continued strength of mobile betting as well as favourable sporting outcomes,” said CEO Breon Corcoran.

“In line with our previous guidance, international revenues declined as a result of regulatory change and our focus on sustainable jurisdictions,” he added.

Corcoran, who took the job last year, said in December that Betfair would retreat from markets such as Germany and Greece where the company has experienced problems over licenses and tax rates. The company plans to focus on areas where gambling regulations are more clearly defined.

Late last year Betfair announced 20 million pounds of annual cost savings.

“The new leadership team is in place and has started to implement the changes required to make Betfair a more focused and leaner organisation,” Corcoran added on Thursday.

Betfair said it was confident of meeting the profit and revenue guidance it gave in December for its financial year, which runs until the end of April.

The company is forecasting group revenues of 370-385 million pounds and underlying profit of 65-70 million pounds.

Betfair shares floated at 13 pounds in October 2010 but closed at 688p on Wednesday.

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