Strong growth in sports betting saw Flutter Entertainment’s reach pro-forma revenues of £3bn in the first half.
UK.- The gaming giant Flutter Entertainment has reported a strong performance for the first half, with pro-forma revenue up 30 per cent year-on-year to £3bn.
Sports betting revenue rose 58.1 per cent to £1.89bn thanks to the full sports calendar after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on fixtures last year. Gaming revenue slipped 2.7 per cent to £1.16bn.
The UK and Ireland remained the largest contributor at £1.14bn, up 94.2 per cent overall. There, online revenue was up 37.1 per cent to £1.09bn (£712m from sports betting), while retail revenue fell 47.2 per cent due to betting shop closures under lockdown measures. However, Flutter said that betting shop revenue had now recovered beyond pre-pandemic levels.
In Australia, Flutter’s Sportsbet brand saw revenue rise 34.5 per cent to £585m. In the US, FanDuel’s revenue rocketed 135.1% to £652m driven by expansion into new markets such as Michigan and Virginia.
Chief executive Peter Jackson said: “The first half of 2021 exceeded our expectations as we made substantial progress against our operational and strategic objectives while maintaining excellent momentum in growing our player base.
“Our global sports businesses benefited from further enhancements to our products and the return to more normalised sporting calendars while we sustained our strong performance in gaming despite the challenging comparatives set last year.”
Only the international segment, including PokerStars, saw a decline, with revenue down 15 per cent to £680m. Sport betting revenue was up at £118m but gaming revenue fell 23.2 per cent to £562m, partly due to Flutter’s withdrawal of PokerStars from China and due to new transitional gaming regulations in Germany.
Jackson said: “In International, which faced particularly challenging revenue comparatives following the growth in poker last year, revenue declines were less pronounced than anticipated as we continue to reposition and invest in the business for long-term sustainable growth.”
A rise in costs, particularly associated with FanDuel’s expansion in the US, brought EBITDA for the half down 13.3 per cent year-on-year to £597m. Adjusted operating profit was down 16.8 per cent at £472m. Flutter said it expects to see EBITDA between £1bn and £1.15bn for H2.