Flutter profits slump as betting giant takes pandemic hit

Finance News

Flutter Entertainment reported a revenue rise of 23%, as it kept its leading position in a booming US market that it said could grow to twice the size previously estimated. 

“Nowhere has our growth been more evident than in the US, with customer economics that continue to exceed our expectations,” Flutter’s chief executive Peter Jackson said in today’s results statement. 

While the Covid-19 pandemic all but halted sports events for two months from the middle of March, popular fixtures such as soccer and horse racing have since mostly continued uninterrupted behind closed doors. 

Annual revenue grew by 59% in Australia, the least affected market, compared with the previous year, and by 8% in the mainly Britain and Ireland-based Paddy Power and Betfair online division. 

Group revenue was up 36% year-on-year in the first seven weeks of 2021, Flutter said, citing favourable sports results and further growth in player volumes.

The Paddy Power owner also reported a 106% increase in revenues for 2020 after what it called a “transformational year”. 

Revenue for the year to the end of December jumped to £4.398 billion from £2.140 billion in 2019 on the back of the addition of The Stars Group (TSG) from May.

But the company’s profit before tax slumped by 99% to £1m from £136m in 2019 after the deduction of £432m in non-cash acquisition accounting adjustments.