Stars Group ahead of expectations as revenue rises in Q1
The Stars Group has revealed that it has performed ahead of expectations so far in the current quarter, but warned that the outbreak of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) could have a material impact on sports betting revenue in the near term.
The operator said it saw continued strong underlying momentum within its UK-facing Sky Betting & Gaming division, due in part to favourable sporting results, while its BetEasy business in Australia also experienced growth.
The PokerStars owner also saw sequential improvement within its international segment from the fourth quarter of 2019, with revenue ahead of the previous year on a constant currency basis.
“Overall, we are so far performing ahead of our expectations and currently expect to see strong year over year growth in revenues for the first quarter,” Stars’ chief executive Rafi Ashkenazi said.
In terms of how the global novel coronavirus pandemic will affect business, Stars said it is difficult to predict how much of an impact the sports postponements and cancellations will have on sports betting revenue.
However, the operator noted that 62% of overall revenue was generated from poker and gaming in 2019, and, as such, Ashkenazi said Stars remains confident of long-term revenue growth.
“We are closely monitoring the continued impact of the coronavirus, and the health and safety of our employees and customers remains our top priority, as we implement our business continuity plans and continue to observe and comply with local mandates and guidelines across our global offices,” Ashkenazi said.
“Our employees are working remotely to ensure that our customers can continue to enjoy our products, and while we currently still offer a broad range of betting options for our customers, any sustained outbreak resulting in the further postponement or cancellation of major sporting events could have a material impact on our sports betting revenue in the near term.”
Ashkenazi added: “We therefore remain confident in our ability to continue driving revenue growth in the years ahead, despite the inevitable disruption in the sports industry during 2020.”
Last month, Stars – which is in the process of merging with Flutter Entertainment – revealed a 24.6% year-on-year increase in revenue and 17.9% rise in adjusted EBITDA for 2019, as it reaped the benefits of the acquisitions of Sky Betting & Gaming and BetEasy.
Total revenue for the Toronto-headquartered group was up year-on-year to $2.53bn (£2.05bn/€2.26bn) from $2.03bn. This was aided by a 140.2% increase in UK revenue to $946.7m, following the Sky Betting & Gaming acquisition in July 2018.
Flutter, meanwhile, revealed earlier today that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation face a hit of up to $110m in 2020, from the suspension of major sporting events in the wake of Covid-19.