Bookmaker Flutter said it was upbeat on prospects for its FanDuel division on Friday, despite interim pre-tax losses widening, as the group continued to pour money into its US arm.
Flutter reported a pre-tax loss of £112.0m for the six months ended 30 June, deepening from £86.0m a year earlier, principally due to a £286.0m charge for amortisation of acquired intangibles. Underlying earnings sunk 23% to £434.0m and the group’s underlying loss per share widened from 50.4p to 64.7p.
Excluding FanDuel, underlying profits dropped 11% to £608.0m, while including the US business, total profits came to £476.0m, down 20% year-on-year.
Revenues, on the other hand, rose 11% to £3.38bn amid recreational player growth, with the group particularly pleased by the momentum seen in the US.
Flutter added that its second trading half had begun in line with expectations, with the group now forecasting underlying profits of between £1.29bn-£1.39bn for the full year, with a loss in the US of between £225.0m-£275.0m.
Chief executive Peter Jackson said: “The first half of 2022 was positive for the group with significant progress made against the strategic objectives we outlined in March.
“The second half of the year has started well and we look forward to the start of the football seasons in both the US and Europe. Being part of the Flutter Group provides unique strategic advantages to our portfolio of brands, giving access to expertise, technology, and resources to drive performance and capitalise on further growth opportunities we see ahead.”
AJ Bell’s Danni Hewson said: “Flutter Entertainment took the top slot among the FTSE risers, with the shares jumping after the company said there were no signs of consumers betting less – something the market had been fearing given the cost-of-living crisis. This reinforces the idea that people will be happy to keep betting in the hope of winning big during more difficult economic times.”
Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com