Profits at Paddy Power owner Flutter fall 24% in first half of 2019

Revenue grows but increased taxes and duties hit profit

Peter Jackson, chief executive of Flutter Entertainment.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Peter Jackson, chief executive of Flutter Entertainment. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Increased taxes and duties left profits trailing by 24 per cent at Paddy Power owner, Flutter Entertainment, in the first six months of the year.

Flutter’s shares rose 2.88 per cent to €69.22 on the Dublin market following the news.

The Irish gambling giant grew revenue by 18 per cent in the first half of the year to £1.02 billion sterling from £867 million during the same period in 2018.

Pre-tax profit fell 24 per cent to £81 million in the first half of 2019, from £106 million in the opening six months of last year.

Flutter noted that betting taxes and duties increased £47 million in the first half.

This cut earnings before interest, tax and write offs, a measure of the cash a company generates, by £21 million to £196 million.

The group owns businesses in Europe, the US and Australia, including bookmaker Paddy Power and betting exchange Betfair.

Excluding the US, it expects full-year earnings to be between £420 million and £440 million.

However, it expects to a loss of £55 million in the US this year as it continues to spend to attract customers in newly liberalised betting markets there.

Peter Jackson, Flutter chief executive, described the first half as productive. “All divisions are performing strongly on an underlying basis and have responded well to the challenges faced,” he said.