Sports games

Flutter shares plunge as UK lockdown gaming boom comes to an end

Flutter posted an 11% drop in profits in 2021 as the easing of COVID-19 lockdowns reduced demand, sending shares of the world’s largest online betting company down 10% on Tuesday. Flutter slashed its full-year core profit forecast, excluding its heavy investments in the US, to between 1.24 billion pounds ($1.66 billion) and 1.28 billion in November after a string of high-profile results from Premier League football to heavyweight boxing. pockets.

The owner of Paddy Power, Betfair and FanDuel’s adjusted EBITDA was £1.24 billion, 11% below the record high of £1.4 billion in 2020. Flutter also cited regulatory changes and a increased spending on initiatives to address gambling addiction for declining revenue. . Bookmakers usually suffer when favorites win and adverse sports results cost £149m in the fourth quarter.

While the average number of monthly customers jumped 23% to 7.6 million, continuing a surge that began during lockdown, gaming habits in Flutter’s main UK market have returned to pre-levels the coronavirus pandemic, chief executive Peter Jackson told reporters. Flutter maintained its No. 1 position in the rapidly growing US market with a 40% market share, up from 42% at the end of September. Revenue of 1.4 billion pounds, up 113% year on year, was almost 50% higher than its closest competitor, Flutter said.

The Dublin-based group plans to turn the £243m revenue loss in the US into profit next year for the first time since the sports betting ban was lifted in 2018. The number of bets that FanDuel took for last month’s Super Bowl, the biggest event on the US sports calendar, doubled to 8 million, while its app was the second most downloaded behind Comcast Corp Peacock, which broadcast the showpiece game of American football.

“It was a real breakthrough moment for FanDuel, which really broke through to mainstream audiences in the United States,” Jackson said. Assuming a normal run of sports results, Flutter expects revenue growth to accelerate in 2022 across the group compared to the 2% year-on-year rise in the first seven weeks of the year. ‘year.

Goodbody Stockbrokers analyst Gavin Kelleher said he was inclined to cut his 2022 EBITDA forecast by 7% after the “mixed update”.

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