October 26, 2007

Boylesports: 'We will not be buying Bet Direct'

Boylesports has counted itself out of the running to acquire 32Red’s sports-betting operation Bet Direct, according to the chief executive.

Speaking on the publication of his company results for the year, boss Daniel O’Mahoney said: “We will not be buying Bet Direct”.

The news leaves Stan James as the leading contender to snap up the online bookmaker which has been up for sale for over a month.

O’Mahoney said his company would concentrate on re-investing in his own business. “We are delighted,” he said. “These results put us in an excellent position.”

In the year to the end of June, Boylesports saw turnover increase 25% to E629m while operating profit rose to E15.6m from E12m the year previously. Boylesports operates an online and telephone betting operation along with a retail operation in its native Ireland.

The company said that a “string of favourable results” had a positive impact on profit, in particular at the Cheltenham and Aintree horse-racing festivals.

O’Mahoney hailed the company sponsorships at English premier League club Sunderland and at Cheltenham as having helped boost the company profile in its target market of the UK.

“We get good exposure from them both,” he said. The UK now accounts for over 50% of Boylesports’ UK client base.

“The UK is obviously very competitive, and you need a quality product,” he added. “But even a small percentage of the UK market can still be significant.”