Q4 revenues highlight growth potential for enlarged Stars Group

Toronto TSX-listed The Stars Group Inc has published its Q4 and full-year 2018 accounts, detailing that it has completed a ‘landmark year’, laying the foundations for its future global growth initiatives.

Incorporating the assets of Sky Bet and BetEasy Australia, an enlarged Stars Group records group revenues of $2.1 billion (FY2017: $1.3bn), with the company detailing that it now operates in 21 regulated market jurisdictions.

As reported in its Q3 2018 update, The Stars Group has adopted a new accounting procedure splitting its reporting into three segments – i) International – Bet Stars legacy assets, ii) UK – Sky Bet properties and iii) Australia – for its newly created BetEasy domain.

The breakdown sees Sky Bet contribute $395 million revenues, with an adjusted EBITDA of $100 million for FY 2018, with Stars Governance highlighting that its new UK asset was able to maintain its World Cup momentum during the close of 2018.

Launched in Australia, BetEasy formed through the acquisitions of CrownBet and William Hill Australia reported FY2018 revenues of $196 million, and further contributed an EBITDA on $21 million.

Stars Group legacy assets PokerStars and BetStars maintained year growth, with revenues of $1.4 billion (FY2017: $1.3bn) and an adjusted EBITDA of $700 million despite facing a tough 2018 closing period, with poker hit by reduced customer deposits and currency XE fluctuations.

Closing a year driven by M&A costs and expenditures, The Stars Group governance books-in corporate losses of $108 million, with the firm’s long-term debt capacity expanded to $5.6 billion.

Updating investors and the market, Rafi Ashkenazi, The Stars Group’s Chief Executive Officer, stated: “We completed the acquisitions of Sky Betting & Gaming in the U.K. and BetEasy in Australia, extended our licensed footprint to 21 jurisdictions around the world and began laying the foundations to grow our presence in the U.S.

“Our international business saw strong organic growth in the year despite restrictions in certain markets and lapping the initial roll-out of our Stars Rewards program. Our United Kingdom and Australia segments both performed in-line with our expectations during the fourth quarter, and we believe they are currently well-positioned to continue gaining market share in 2019.

“As we look at 2019 and beyond, we are excited to take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us by leveraging our leading positions in attractive markets, strong brands, technology and operating expertise.

“We are pleased with our performance in the first two months of the year, underpinning our confidence in our financial guidance for 2019, and we are currently on track to deliver the full $70 million in cost synergies from the acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming within the current year alone, with potential opportunities for incremental synergies under review.”

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