Flutter Entertainment’s revenue more than doubled on a like-for-like basis in 2020, after the operator completed its acquisition of The Stars Group and bought out minority shareholders of FanDuel.
The operator’s chief executive Peter Jackson described the year as “historic” for the business. The addition of brands such as PokerStars, Sky Betting & Gaming and Fox Bet to its portfolio helped revenue grow 105.5% year-on-year to £4.40bn on a like-for-like basis.
This reflected the contribution of The Stars Group from 5 May, the date the merger completed.
On a pro-forma basis – factoring in The Stars Group’s contribution for the entire 2020 calendar year, as well as counting Stars Group revenue for year-on-year comparisons – revenue was up 27.0% at £5.26bn.
Looking at like-for-like revenue breakdown, Flutter generated £2.73bn from sportsbook operations, up 63.5%, while gaming revenue soared 253.7% to £1.67bn. Revenue was up significantly year-on-year for its Sky Betting & Gaming, PokerStars, Australia and US divisions, though fell for the British and Irish-focused Paddy Power Betfair arm.
For Paddy Power Betfair, revenue declined 2.2% to £1.29bn, with a strong online performance dragged down by retail’s struggles. Its Paddy Power shops were closed for around 38% of the year as a result of novel coronavirus (Covid-19), it said, resulting in the channel’s contribution falling 35.9% to £200m.
Online, despite struggling in the first half of the year amid the cancellation of sporting events, recovered in the second half, to grow revenue 8.2% to £1.09bn.
Amounts wagered on sports across both channels fell 16.3% to £5.85bn, and despite an improved net revenue margin of 10.5%, revenue came in below 2019’s total, at £813m. This was partially offset by a 12.6% rise in gaming revenue to £481m.
The online-only Sky Betting & Gaming fared better, despite stakes for the year falling to £4.17bn. For that operation, a significantly improved net revenue margin of 13.6% resulted in betting revenue growing 33.5% to £590m.
Once an increased contribution of £385m from gaming was factored in, Sky Betting and Gaming revenue was up 32.5% at £975m.
Turning to Australia, Flutter’s Sportsbet brand benefitted from customers migrating online as a result of Covid-19, signing up 675,000 new players during the year.
This led to amounts wagered jumping 43.9% to £9.71bn, and revenue climbing 57.9% to £1.08bn. Like Paddy Power Betfair, growth occurred in the second half of the year, and a condensed sporting calendar of events postponed during H1.
In a year that saw the poker vertical enjoy a resurgence under lockdown, PokerStars also posted year-on-year growth in revenue. This segment, covering the brand’s operations in non-British and US markets, reported revenue of £1.23bn, a 20.3% improvement on 2019.
This was comprised largely of gaming, which accounted for £1.16bn of the total. Poker revenue was up 38% in the first half of the year, though casino surged 51% over the same period. Sports betting, on the other hand, saw revenue rise 12.3% to £64m, on stakes of £748m.
However the biggest advances were reported in the US, with revenue soaring 80.1% to £695m. This division, comprising the FanDuel, Fox Bet, TVG, PokerStars and Betfair Casino brands, saw sportsbook revenue grow to £458m on stakes of £4.41bn, with gaming revenue up 288.5% to £237m.
Flutter noted that its horse racing brand TVG performed particularly well, benefitting from the fact that racing continued at a time when Covid-19 forced the suspension of other sports.