Bets are off at Betfair in recent weeks

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The Independent Online

The online gambling firm Betfair posted record profits for its first full year as a listed company yesterday but admitted that revenues have taken a hit in recent weeks.

The betting exchange allows punters to set their own odds and bet against one another. It plans to pay a maiden dividend after underlying profits rose 49 per cent to £79.7m in the year to 30 April.

But it said revenues, which increased 15.4 per cent to £393m, "could have been stronger" after they were hit by declining bets on horseracing and poker and "outages" due to technical problems.

Betfair, whose chief executive David Yu said earlier this week he would step down by 2012, has seen its shares halve in value since it floated at £13 in October. They were flat at 779p yesterday.