Flutter Lauds Merger Benefits – Amid Warning

August 27, 2020

- Grant Whittington

Theirs is an outlook still erring on the side of the highly uncertain – this even despite casino and betting giant Flutter Entertainment Plc’s announcement regarding the corporate behemoth’s motion to greatly accelerate all directives related to its merger with Canadian casino games and Poker giant The Stars Group Inc (TSG).

All future outlooks now rely wholly on further outcomes and regulatory changes driven by a precarious, completely unexpected, and potentially financially crippling global health crisis, the group announced alongside the release of its latest interim report.

TSG Remains A Great Call

At the time of the publication of its interim results for the current financial year, Flutter Entertainment emphasised once again the endless benefits associated with its decision to merge with The Stars Group. And these are benefits still evident in clarity and abundance, added the group. The expectation is also a tendency already quite clear just from looking at a year-on-year comparison of the group’s performance. Up from £1.02 billion to an almost-unheard of £1.52 billion (given current circumstances), revenues generated during the first half (H1) of the current year indicate a phenomenal 49% improvement when compared to that of 2019’s H1-period.

All of the above has led to Flutter Entertainment now having declared itself successful at having reached its former objective of becoming the world’s biggest “blue chip” iGaming and betting incumbent – but at the same time also a commercial giant at risk of being cut down to undervalued size by an ongoing world-wide dilemma.

The Makings Of A Unique Backdrop

Such is the unprecedented nature of the current headwinds, that the crisis is described by Group CEO Peter Jackson as the type of challenge posing a unique and highly unusual backdrop for the completion of the aforementioned merger alongside Canadian gaming giant The Stars Group Inc.

Even so, emphasised Jackson, the newly-combined team now at the helm of the newly-formed gaming giant, is deserving of honourable mention in terms of hard work, tenacity, resilience, and, perhaps above all, unwavering commitment shown in terms of making of the merger a success.

Growth – But Also Much Caution

As far as actual results go, the combined wagering volume (combined) has taken some of the hardest knocks of all. Wagering volume for the current H1 is down by a crippling 13% when compared to that reported for the first of half of 2019.

Also exceptionally hard hit was the performance of the group’s Paddy Power Betfair brand. Since all major sports events the world over around the middle of March entered into what would ultimately end up a 6 months+ stand-still, the famous Flutter sports bookie brand could do precious little else than to sit back and watch revenue go up in flames along with the rest of the sports betting industry.

But despite Paddy Power Betfair having had to endure what the group now describes to be significant trading shocks, it did report having found at least somewhat of a reprieve in the suddenly-hiked shows of performance put up by newly-acquired Sky Bet and PokerStars divisions. Due to the nature of the products on offer along with the prominence of online casino entertainment as opposed to sports betting entertainment, these two divisions experienced growth instead of a slump.

Diversification has been a lifeline and a saving grace, Flutter Entertainment said at the time of the publication of the most recent performance reports. Now more than ever, the importance of a shift and expansion of global focus is coming prominently to the fore.

Said the CEO, the group’s first-half financial performance exceeded projected expectations for exactly this very reason, being that of expansion, diversification, and exploring all-new areas of global commerce and operations

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