After the suspension of UK and Irish racing, Flutter Entertainment has seen group-wide revenue fall 32 percent year-on-year, with total growth of 16 percent felt through the first quarter of 2020.
Publishing a trading update ending March 31, 2020 has praised group-wide resilience with impacts from the wave of global cancellations not hit as hard as anticipated during this initial period.
Revenue hit £547 million (2019: £478 million) with gaming rising 25 percent from £113 million to £140 million as the effect of sport disruption saw the sector leap 13 percent to £407 million (2019: £366 million). Total revenue grew by 29% for the pre-March 15 era, with sports and gaming increasing by 30% and 27% respectively.
Highlighting a heightened responsibility for responsible gaming during the current environment, the operator community outlined a variety of developments observed during the period from March 16 – April 12.
In its online division Paddy Paddy Betfair, the total sales fell 32 percent year-on-year, with sports dropping 57 percent, 65 percent after Irish racing was suspended on March 25. Over the era, gaming revenue grew 15 percent.
Revenue in Australia has decreased by 7 percent year-on-year with a small effect from sport cancellations to date, reflecting ongoing racing behind closed doors.
In the US, where the company says success continues to meet expectations, revenue is eight per cent lower year-on-year composed of a 46 per cent decline in sports revenue and a 200 per cent gaming revenue rise with an increased footprint, as regards the latter, praised.
Flutter Entertainment chief executive Peter Jackson explained: “The group performed very well in the period prior to the disruption to sporting events in mid-March. We delivered strong customer growth across each of our brands and benefited from favourable sports results across our sportsbooks.
“Following the widespread cancellation of sporting events, group revenues have been more resilient than we initially expected, helped by the continuation of horse racing in Australia and the US. Gaming continues to perform well across the group. During this unprecedented time, we are keenly aware of our heightened responsibility to ensure that we do all we can to promote responsible gambling.
“We have stepped up our own practices and are collaborating with our peers within the Betting and Gaming Council to continue to raise standards across the sector. We are also working hard to provide all the support we can to our employees and I would like to thank them for their ongoing commitment and support for each other during this difficult period.
“While the current disruption is truly exceptional, it underlines the importance of product and geographic diversification. As such, the strategic logic of our combination with The Stars Group remains compelling.
“Following approval of the deal yesterday by the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, we look forward to completing the transaction in Q2 upon receipt of outstanding shareholder and regulatory approvals.”