International edition
August 21, 2019

And higher taxes

Paddy Power owner’s profits down 24% on UK’s gambling crackdown

Paddy Power owner’s profits down 24% on UK’s gambling crackdown
The company's retail arm declined due to the UK Government's restrictions on betting machine stakes as well as a doubling of tax on sports betting in Ireland.
United Kingdom | 08/08/2019

Flutter Entertainment has blamed stricter regulations for a 24 percent drop in pre-tax profits to £81 million (USD 98 M) for the first half of the year, while underlying earnings fell 10 percent to £196 million (USD 238 M).

T

he betting firm unveiled a 24 percent slide in pre-tax profits to £81 million for the six months to June 30, saying a £47 million increase in taxes and duties had affected its bottom line. Without this additional cost, Flutter Entertainment says, underlying earnings would have grown by 15 percent.

As the company's tax bill grew, Paddy Power's owner also reported an 18% increase in revenue for the first six months of the year to £1.02 billion.

The group’s online, Australian and US divisions all showed revenue growth in the period (8%), but its retail arm declined due to the UK Government's restrictions on betting machine stakes as well as a doubling of tax on sports betting in Ireland.

However, Flutter said it expected to ultimately grow market share following the changes as its less profitable competitors retrench.

Tightened regulations in Australia also led to higher taxes there. Underlying earnings for the group's division were almost flat but would have been 64 percent higher without additional costs, the Irish News reports.

Meanwhile, in the US, which is a relatively young market due to the opening up of sports betting in some states, revenue jumped 46 percent.

Underlying earnings dropped 73 percent to £3 million as operating costs increased.

For the full year, the group expects the US to make a loss of £55 million as it invests in growing customer numbers.

Excluding the US, earnings are on track to be between £420 million and £440 million for the full year.

Chief executive Peter Jackson said: "We have had another productive six months at Flutter Entertainment plc. All divisions are performing strongly on an underlying basis and have responded well to the challenges faced.

"We are pleased with the progress we are making to build a more diversified and sustainable business," he concluded.

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