evenues at Paddy Power Betfair rose by 17 percent in the first quarter of its financial year, on the back of “excellent” growth in both Australia and the United States. However, its online performance was affected by unfavorable sports results in Britain and Ireland. Revenues rose to £478 million (USD 625.7 M) powered by a 47 percent surge across the Atlantic. Online revenues increased by 4 percent to £228 million (€266 million)
Turnover in its Australian brand Sportsbet also climbed by a fifth, with the company saying increased investment in response to local tax hikes had paid off. Adverse results in the country took the shine off profit margins, however. Paddy Power Betfair’s biggest single division, European online, posted more modest growth of 4 percent to £228 million (USD 298.4 M) boosted by its acquisition of Georgian company Adjarabet.
CEO Peter Jackson reaffirmed full-year targets “despite the adverse sports results in the first quarter”, The Telegraph reports. The company said in March that it would change its corporate name later this year to Flutter Entertainment.
US regulators last year relaxed a decades-long ban on sports wagering that had been imposed across most of the country, opening up a large new market. Using their expertise at home, European operators are scrambling to establish a presence in the country as American states legalise gambling on sports events.
Paddy Power Betfair merged its US business with fantasy sports company FanDuel in a move that has outflanked UK rivals William Hill and Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC thus far. The company says it has established a 50 percent market share in New Jersey, one of the first states to implement the sports gambling reforms. “FanDuel Group is making huge progress, with our unique proposition of brand, product offering and existing fantasy customer base,” Jackson said.
Thursday’s results for the three months to March do not take into account the effects of a crackdown on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals in the UK. Paddy Power Betfair is less exposed to the changes compared with some of its listed peers, owing to its comparatively smaller UK high street estate. Shares fell 5 percent to £64.30.