Flutter accelerates global growth profile as US options are weighed up

Flutter Entertainment Plc has cited confidence in delivering on its full-year 2021 financial expectations by continuing to establish its individual brands as outright leaders in each active marketplace.

Publishing its Q1 trading update, the FTSE100 gambling group recorded double-digit growth across all core divisions, as its monthly average active customer base increases by 36% to 7.6 million (Q12019: 5.6m).

Providing a topline overview of its Q1 trading results, Flutter recorded group revenues of £1.4 billion – up 32% on corresponding 2020 results of £1.12 billion – after registering period sports betting revenues of £896 million (+43%) and group gaming revenues of £589 million (+18%).

Flutter’s flagship UK&IRE division of Betfair, PaddyPower and Sky Bet brands delivered a 16% increase in revenues to £568 million (Q12020: £489m) as continued digital growth helped it override a further quarter of no UK/IRE retail trading.

Irrespective of lockdown conditions, Flutter underscored that it was able to increase its UK&IRE market share as its average monthly active players increased by 23% to 3.16 million.  

“2021 is off to a strong start for the Group,” said CEO Peter Jackson. “We continued to significantly grow our global player base which in turn drove a 42% increase in our online revenue.

“At the same time, safer gambling continues to be a key priority across our markets with new measures introduced including our Gamban partnership in the US and development of the planned Affordability Triple Step in the UK.”

In Australia, Flutter’s Sportsbet AUS unit continued its consecutive double-digit growth profile, recording a 59% increase in revenues to £279 million (Q12020: £161m) – with Sportsbet benefiting from AUS retail player migrations to its platform.

Against a tough ‘stay-at-home’ comparative backdrop, Flutter’s International (PokerStars) unit registered a 7% increase in revenues to £351 million (Q12020:£334m). Online poker recorded a 9% drop in player activity, which Flutter stated will be mitigated by further investment in marketing and product retention.

The Q1 trading period saw Flutter accelerate its US market growth profile as with successful new launches in the states of Michigan and Virginia.

Flutter’s US sportsbook unit recorded 135% revenue increase to £288 million (Q12020: £132m) – providing a unit breakdown of Flutter’s FanDuel asset, which accounted for 91.6% of US revenue (Full Year 2020: 89.1%), whilst FOX Bet (including PokerStars US) accounted for 8.4%.

Closing Flutter’s trading update, CEO Peter Jackson issued the following statement on the FTSE firm’s US strategic options.

He said: “We are continuing to consider our options with respect to a possible US listing of a small shareholding of FanDuel Group. No decision has been made at this time and we will update the market as appropriate.

“As restrictions begin to ease and retail reopens across a number of markets, we remain confident that our diversified business leaves us well placed to deliver sustainable growth going forward.”

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