Betfair's chief starts to rein in costs

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The Independent Online

Betfair's chief executive, Breon Corcoran, will outline a strategy of cost cutting on Thursday, following his recent decision to withdraw from Germany and not to enter Greece.

Mr Corcoran is expected to announce an interim pre-tax profit of £42m, down from £45.6m for the same period in 2011, as the company suffered from a slowdown in wagers on anything from sport to the weather.

But the City will be far more interested to hear what Mr Corcoran has to say about the company's grand plan, which has disappointed since listing on the London Stock exchange at 1,300p in October 2010. Betfair now trades at only a little more than 750p.

Last month, Betfair withdrew its online sports betting exchange in Germany because of a tax levied on stakes on sports events and then, separately, decided not to proceed with plans to enter Greece after uncertainty about the value of its permit to operate in the country.