The Betfred Group has announced plans to expand next year after unveiling a record surge in profits to nearly £70m.
In its first full set of results since buying the former state-owned Tote in 2011, Warrington-based Betfred recorded a 19% rise in revenues to £8bn for the year to March 31.
Underlying pre-tax profits increased 30% from £53m to £69m, while the group also lowered its debt by £43m to £213m.
Strong growth came from the Betfred.com website, with its underlying pre-tax profits up 42% from £4.6m to £6.6m. It also sponsored over 600 horse-races last year, making it the largest single sponsor of racing.
The company also revealed that its in-house TV channel, Betfred TV, was now transmitted to all 1,375 betting shops from its MediaCityUK studios, and that it employed eight editorial full-time staff.
Co-founder and chairman Fred Done said: “I am delighted to report such a positive set of results. We continue to grow strongly and evolve our range of products. Our estate of 1,375 betting shops is performing well and we are making great strides in improving and enhancing our online and mobile offerings.
“We are very excited about the future and are positive about the outlook for the business. I would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of our 10,000 employees for their hard work over the year.”
The bookmaker said it now plans to open up to 30 new stores next year, creating an additional 150 jobs.
It already employs 3,200 staff in the region out of a total workforce of 10,000, up 400 over the year.