The Company behind Paddy Power said its U.S. business had driven a boom in revenue as it exceeded expectations for the first half of the year.
Flutter Entertainment said revenue had grown by 159 percent in the U.S., helping to fuel a major expansion.
The company said its revenue rose 28 percent, hitting more than 3 billion pounds (4.16 billion dollars), compared with analysts’ expectations of 2.7 billion pounds.
Chief executive of the company, Peter Jackson said: “the first half of 2021 exceeded our expectations as we made substantial progress against our operational and strategic objectives while maintaining excellent momentum in growing our player base.”
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation hit 597 million pounds more than 100 million pounds ahead of expectations.
Meanwhile, Flutter’s international unit was not as badly hit as expected.
Its online poker business soared last year as lockdowns started to be imposed and, compared with that period, Flutter had expected a major drop.
However, in the end, revenue fell just 15 per cent to 680 million pounds.
“In international, which faced particularly challenging revenue comparatives following the growth in poker last year, revenue declines were less pronounced than anticipated as we continue to reposition and invest in the business for long-term sustainable growth,’’ Jackson said.
Flutter expanded its stake in FanDuel, a U.S. business, to 95 per cent last year.
Freetrade analyst, Gemma Boothroyd, said in the U.S., Flutter’s first-half revenue soared by 159 per cent to 652 million pounds.
“While promising to the naked eye, that growth is driven by six additional states legalising sports betting.
“Naturally, the market is expanding and opening up in Flutter’s favour and, as it does, it’s vital the entertainment group be at the forefront in capturing pent up demand,” said the analyst.
Flutter’s plans to spin off FanDuel by selling a stake on a U.S. stock exchange have been complicated by the departure of its chief executive and a legal fight with Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corporation, according to reports.
On Tuesday, Flutter confirmed that it had entered legal arbitration with Fox and will “vigorously defend its position. A ruling is expected next year at the earliest.”
In May, Flutter said FanDuel chief executive, Matt King, planned to leave the company, and his departure would affect the potential US listing.
Flutter credited King with overseeing FanDuel’s transformation from a fantasy sports operator to a major player in the U.S. online sports betting and gaming scene. (dpa/NAN)