Webis Holdings, the owner of the advance-deposit wagering operator Watchandwager.com, was able to report a net profit of $824,000 in its 2021 financial year, ended 31 March, following a 28.3% rise in revenue.
Overall revenue for the 12 months through to May 31, 2021, amounted to $55.7m, up from $43.4m in the previous financial year and in line with forecasts published last month.
Webis did not publish a full breakdown of business segment performance, but it did note its Watchandwager.com B2C division performed well, with handle rising 53% year-on-year and active player wagering from our non-rebate players also up 67%.
The operator put B2C growth down to improvements in its website application, including content, player verification, payments, retention, and re-activation marketing.
In terms of the B2B segment, which covers the provision of pari-mutuel wagering to high-roller clients, this remained stagnant during the year, while Webis also noted this area is becoming increasingly competitive as content holders manage their rates and control distribution.
“While it is important that we manage and provide the highest standard of service to existing and potentially new players, we will only engage in business if it is compliant with the key licenses that we hold,” Webis non-executive chairman Denham Eke said.
“It goes without saying that our licenses are the key asset that the company holds. In addition, we will only engage in business in this sector if it provides a satisfactory margin back to WatchandWager, otherwise this becomes a race to the bottom.”
Webis also said its racetrack operation at Cal Expo Sacramento performed well during the period under adverse operational challenges due to novel coronavirus (Covid-19). Webis noted it was unable to race at the end of the season due to Covid-19 measures put in place by the Sacramento Department of Health and on most days was unable to allow customers onto the track.
This, it said, reduced on-track revenue to almost zero, while the cost of operations remained higher due to emergency procedures relating to the pandemic.
Turning to overall spending for the year and cost of sales was 28.4% higher at $49.8m, while operating expenses also increased 8.2% to $5.3m.
However, Webis also accounted for a $272,000 government grant and $185,000 in other income, which left an operating profit of $949,000, compared to a $190,000 loss in the previous year.
Finance expenses amounted to $125,000, leaving a pre-tax profit of $824,000, a significant improvement on the $284,000 loss posted at the same point in 2020. Webis did not pay any income tax, which meant net profit was also $824,000, compared to a $284,000 net loss in the 2020 financial year.
“The company has proved to be robust despite the impact of Covid-19 upon our key content and operations,” Eke said. “Our online business performed well, and our racetrack operation at Cal Expo was also remarkably resilient in the face of difficult operational challenges.
“I am also pleased to report that these positive trends have continued into the new financial year. That said, we are very aware that with reduced leisure restrictions relating to Covid-19, we are now facing increased competition for the leisure dollar.
“This is a focus for our executive team based in the US.”