Flutter Entertainment, parent company of Betfair, Paddy Power, Sky Bet, and PokerStars among others, today released its 2021 preliminary results to the London Stock Exchange.
The gambling giant reported group revenue of £6.04 billion ($8.11 billion) in its preliminary results for the year ended December 31, 2021. This represents a 37% increase year-on-year with the company benefiting from the acquisition of The Stars Group.
Recreational customer numbers increased by 23% giving the Group as a whole an impressive 7.6 million average monthly players, and an industry-leading 29% market share in the United Kingdom.
Business is booming in the United States with Flutter and its FanDuel brand maintaining the number one spot. Flutter now operates in 14 states and reported a 113% revenue growth to £1.4 billion ($1.9 billion), which is almost 50% more than the company’s nearest competitor.
It is a similar story in Australia with Flutter companies boasting of 50% market share thanks to a 7% increase since 2019.
However, group EBITDA declined 6% to £723 million while the company reported a bottom line £288 million loss before tax, mostly because of the writing down of £543 million worth of acquired intangible assets. Intangible assets are non-physical assets including goodwill, patents, trademarks, brand recognition, and similar.
Flutter Chief Executive Pleased With the Company’s Progress
Peter Jackson, Flutter’s Chief Executive, gave his thoughts on the past 12-months.
“2021 was another strong year for the Group as we made good progress against our strategic objectives and grew our recreational customer base to over 7.6m customers. Yesterday we launched our new sustainability strategy, our ‘Positive Impact Plan’, which will see Flutter set a positive agenda for future change. Through this strategy we will build on the significant progress already made in areas such as safer gambling and measure our performance against defined goals to demonstrate how we are responsible leaders in our industry.”
“I believe Flutter is exceptionally well positioned for future growth”
“In International, investments made since acquiring PokerStars have put it on a more sustainable footing and while this has resulted in reduced profitability, the necessary foundations for future growth are now in place. Notwithstanding regulatory changes in Germany, Netherlands and elsewhere, we saw good momentum across key markets such as Brazil, Canada and Georgia. In addition, the announcement of our acquisition of Sisal will further enhance both the quality and shape of our International division.”
“Overall, I am pleased with the progress we have made during 2021 and believe Flutter is exceptionally well positioned for future growth.”
Jackson also briefly touched on the ongoing Ukraine crisis during his statement to investors.
“Since completion of our merger with TSG, Flutter has materially reduced its exposure to the Russian online market. In 2021, Russia accounted for £41m in contribution. In addition, Ukraine represented contribution of £19m.”
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Flutter Announces Sustainability Strategy
The financial results came a day after Flutter unveiled a new sustainability strategy it is calling the Positive Impact Plan. This focuses on three key areas: partnering with communities to do more, empowering colleagues to work better, and helping customers to play well.
“Play Well” metrics are being introduced for each of Flutter’s divisions and are directly linked to employees’ annual bonuses packages. The company wants over 50% of its customers to be using one or more of its safer gambling products by 2026 increasing to 75% by 2030.
Flutter takes responsible gambling deadly serious and hopes this new strategy will help deliver a better experience to its customers rather than relying on identifying and addressing potential risks.
Jackson explained how Flutter invested £45 million in safer gambling initiatives during the past financial year.
“Our Positive Impact Plan is a comprehensive and challenging strategy which demonstrates that Flutter is setting the agenda for positive change. We are committed to contributing positively to our customers, colleagues and the communities in which we operate. This plan builds on the strong foundations laid by each of our divisions, leveraging our global scale and positioning us at the forefront of meaningful change.”
“During 2021 we further enhanced our safer gambling measures across the Group, investing over £45 million to support and promote safe play across our global operations. Continuing to show leadership in safer gambling is critical for the sustainability of our business and I believe that the goals we are setting out today as part of our new Play Well strategy will materially enhance our global customer protections and serve as a framework for the wider industry.”