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Betfair Declines After Posting Decrease in First-Half Profit

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Betfair Group Plc, the U.K. Internet gaming company that sold shares to the public in October, fell 16 percent in London trading after saying first-half profit declined.

Net income dropped 5.3 percent to 7.4 million pounds ($11.7 million), from 7.8 million pounds a year earlier, the London-based company said in a Regulatory News Service statement today. Betfair incurred one-off costs over the period of 14.7 million pounds “primarily associated with” the October initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, it said in the statement.

Betfair’s owners sold 16.2 million shares at 13 pounds each, the company said Oct. 22. The shares gained 19 percent on the first day of trading, then the best performance among London IPOs since May 2009, when Max Property Group Plc surged 30 percent in its debut, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The IPO was “an important development which we believe will enable us to grow more quickly than we could as an unlisted business,” Chief Executive Officer David Yu said in today’s statement.

The shares fell 191 pence to close at 990 pence, the lowest price since the IPO, at 4:30 p.m. in London. Betfair has dropped 36 percent since Oct. 22, giving the company a market value of 1.06 billion pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Jordan in London at jjordan22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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