The gambling giant Paddy Power Betfair has proposed to rename the operator to Flutter Entertainment. The gambling group commented on the proposal, saying that the new name would better reflect the massive diversity of all the brands and operations involved.
The name change, which is subject to shareholder approval, would not affect consumer brands, as revealed by the company. Peter Jackson, the Chief Executive Officer of the operator, explained that the plans to rename the group come at a time when the operator enhances its brand portfolio. As Mr Jackson shared, the name’s change would be discussed at the forthcoming annual general meeting of the group.
Meanwhile, the gambling operator released its preliminary expectations for its performance in 2018, with the pre-tax profits of the group marking a decline from £247 million in 2017 to £219 million in 2018. Despite that, the company’s CEO Peter Jackson shared that he was pleased with the group’s last year performance.
Mr Jackson described 2018 as a “challenging year for the sector” due to serious regulatory and tax changes brought by gambling watchdogs. According to him, for the time being, the group’s new fiscal year had started in line with expectations.
Group Performs Well in Overseas Gambling Markets
According to preliminary estimates published today by Paddy Power Betfair, a 7.3% increase to £1.87 billion was reached in the group revenue in 2018. However, the underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) suffered a 5% decline reaching £451 million once a £24-million investment made by the group in the US sports betting sector is taken into account. The underlying earnings of the company remained flat, marking a 2% increase to £475 million, excluding currency effects and US investment spending.
As mentioned above, the group’s pre-tax profits for 2018 fell by 5% to £219 million.
As for the current fiscal quarter and full year, the group sticks to its position that the new maximum stake of £2 that is being imposed on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) would not result in a material impact on the sports-led retail strategy of the company. FOBTs’ maximum stake was slashed from £100 to £2 as part of the Government’s efforts to tackle the harmful impact which addictive machines could have on people’s lives.
When it comes to overseas markets, CEO Jackson shared that the biggest gambling operators were favoured by the recent tax changes in Australia, so Paddy Power Betfair remained willing to keep its leadership position among online bookmakers there via its Sportsbet brand. The group’s Chief Executive Officer also explained that the newly-opened sports betting market of the US had the potential to become one of the most significant drivers of development for the company since the legalization of online gambling.