By Iqbal Johal
Flutter Entertainment revenue grew 16% year-on-year for Q1 2020, to £547m ($680m), despite the impact the coronavirus outbreak has had on sports betting.
Before the suspension of all major sport in March, group revenue was up 29%, with sports revenue increasing 30% up to 15 March.
However, the impact of the outbreak meant overall Q1 revenue from sports betting increased only 13%, to £407m. In its trading update, the operator also stated that, since the suspension of UK and Irish racing, group revenue has declined 32% from last year, with sports revenue down 46%.
In terms of Paddy Power Betfair, in the four weeks from 16 March to April 12, sports betting revenue declined 57% from 2019, although revenue from gaming was up 15%.
Meanwhile, the operator announced following approval of Flutter’s acquisition of Stars Group by the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the deal should be completed in Q2, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.
Flutter CEO Peter Jackson said: "Following the widespread cancellation of sporting events, group revenues have been more resilient than we initially expected, helped by the continuation of horse racing in Australia and the US.
"During this unprecedented time, we are keenly aware of our heightened responsibility to ensure we do all we can to promote responsible gambling.
"While the current disruption is truly exceptional, it underlines the importance of product and geographic diversification. As such, the strategic logic of our combination with The Stars Group remains compelling."