Irish gambling giant Flutter records losses of £305m

Revenues rise at Paddy Power owner but once-off charges amounted to £640m

Winning punters and once-off costs left Paddy Power and Betfair owner Flutter Entertainment with a £305 million (€343 million) loss last year.

The Irish gambling giant said on Thursday that revenues rose 27 per cent to £7.7 billion in 2022 from £6 billion the previous year. Pretax losses narrowed to £305 million last year from £412 million in 2021.

Argentina’s World Cup victory and a run of English Premiere League results that went punters’ way cost it £40 million at the end of last year, chief executive Peter Jackson told reporters.

The group had £640.6 million in once-off costs. These included transaction costs, restructuring and charges related to deals including the mergers in 2016 and 2020 that created the group.


Excluding their impact, Flutter’s pretax profit slipped 26 per cent to £336 million in 2022 from £454 million the previous year.

Flutter, which has its headquarters in Dublin, owns Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Bet, FanDuel in the US, Sportsbet in Australia, along with a range of other betting and gaming businesses around the world. The number of regular players on its website rose 26 per cent last year to 10.2 million as more US states legalised digital sports betting.

An 87 per cent surge in US revenues to £2.6 billion last year from £1.4 billion in 2021 left that division as Flutter’s biggest.

The company continues to spend on building its operations there. Cost of sales doubled to £1.3 billion, while the division posted a £328 million operating loss, but is on track to earn a profit this year.

Flutter is discussing a proposed secondary listing of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange with shareholders. Mr Jackson noted their initial feedback was positive.

Profits in its Irish and British businesses, which include Paddy Power, Betfair and Sky Bet, rose 5 per cent to £519 million.

A 23 per cent increase in gaming revenue to £963 million cancelled out an 8 per cent dip in sports betting turnover to £1.18 billion, driven by the unfavourable results.

Flutter closed 17 Paddy Power bookie shops last year, 13 in the Republic, mainly around central Dublin.

Jonathan Hill, chief financial officer, explained that these were shops where business had not recovered following Covid shutdowns and where leases had expired. “We feel we have got the best-invested estate in Ireland,” he added.

Operating profit in its Australian division, Sportsbet, slipped 12 per cent to £361 million. Tax increases, cancelled sports events and lower customer spending hit the business’s performance last year.

In a statement, Mr Jackson said 2022’s performance had been strong. “Growth in our recreational customer base delivered 2022 revenue growth of 27 per cent and we ended the year with a record 12.1 million average monthly players in quarter four,” he said.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas