Webis Holdings, the owner of the advance-deposit wagering operator Watchandwager.com, has forecast an improvement in trading for the second half of its financial year with the launch of a new marketing strategy.
Focused on its business-to-consumer (B2C) activities, the new strategy will launch in the second quarter of the 2023 calendar year and, according to Webis, will have a “significant” impact on business.
The roll-out will follow a number of test marketing campaigns, with Webis non-executive chairman Denham Eke saying the group was particularly encouraged by the growth in its B2C division, where it experienced a consistent increase in the prior years’ levels of wagers placed.
“I remain extremely confident as we approach the spring months that trading will improve in line with expectations, especially as we roll out our new Business to Customer marketing strategy,” Eke said.
First half results
Confirmation of the new strategy comes on the back of a mixed first half for Webis, with its revenue in the six months to November 30, 2022 having declined 8.8% year-on-year to $6.2m.
Breaking this down, the majority of revenue came from racetrack operations in the US, with revenue in this segment reaching $5.1m, down 7.3% on the previous year. The remaining $1.1m was generated from advance-deposit wagering, a drop of 15.4%, with $243,000 of this from activity in Great Britain.
In terms of wagering, Webis took $38.2m in wagers during the first half, a drop of 4.0% from $39.8m in the 2021 financial year.
Cost of sales were 8.7% lower at $4.2m but operating costs increased 4.6% to $2.3m, while after also accounting for $81,000 in financial expenses, Webis was left with a pre-tax loss of $325,000, compared to a $70,000 loss in the previous year.
The group did not pay any tax during the first half, nor did it in the same period in 2021, so it ended the six months with a net loss of $325,000.
“Our principal subsidiary, WatchandWager.com, had a mixed start to the first six months of the financial year,” Eke said. “Trading was strong during the summer months, where we enjoyed excellent commission levels from Saratoga and Del Mar.
“On a less positive note, trading was difficult during the months of September, October, and November. Group amounts wagered were $38.2m, turnover was $6.2m, resulting in a loss on the period of $325,000, largely due to the exceptionally adverse weather conditions.”