FTSE100 gambling group Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) has reported a strong start to 2019 trading, despite recording unfavourable sporting results in the UK and Ireland.
Publishing its Q1 2019 trading statement (for the period ending 31 March), PPB reports a ‘good underlying momentum’, as group revenues grow 17% year-on-year to £478 million (Q12018: £408m) driven by ‘excellent growth in both Australia and the US’.
Tough UK and Ireland trading, saw PPB’s ‘online sports’ revenue decline by 6% to £152 million, with the betting group reporting that 1% growth in its Betfair Exchange & B2B revenue offset by a 10% decrease in sportsbook revenue.
PPB’s home market declines would be offset, by double-digit growth recorded by its FanDuel US and Sportsbet AUS assets.
In Australia Sportsbet revenues increased 20% to £96 million, driven by continued good underlying customer activity with 17% growth in stakes. PPB maintains that it Sportsbet improved performance has been supported by investments in customer value and recent ‘tax increases strengthening Sportsbet’s competitive positioning’.
Supporting further international growth, PPB’s US division saw revenues increase 47% to $78 million, underlined by 12% growth in its FanDuel non-sportsbook businesses. The firm’s Fanduel brand was the number one brand in New Jersey during the quarter with a 50 per cent share of market revenues,
Updating investors, PPB governance remains confident in its full-year outlook and delivering on corporate expectations, with the FTSE firm seeing good returns on its international investments.
Peter Jackson, Paddy Power Betfair Chief Executive, commented: “Q1 was a good quarter for the Group with revenues up 17%, notwithstanding customer friendly sports results in the UK. Underlying momentum remains good for Paddy Power with 22% growth in average daily actives. For Betfair, we continue to make good progress on the technology development work to enhance our global customer propositions which will enable us to accelerate international growth. Meanwhile, the geographical diversification of our online business has been further enhanced by the addition of Adjarabet in February, with integration progressing well.
“We continue to refine our responsible gambling operating capabilities, with the launch of an enhanced CAAP proprietary model that enables us to identify and interact with at-risk customers. The model now monitors over 115 customer behaviours daily and assigns risk scores to each active customer. Continuing to be proactive both with our own initiatives and through collaboration with our industry peers is imperative as we focus on the long-term sustainability of our operations and our industry.”