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Flutter Entertainment Losses Hit $1.2Billion After 2023 Transformation Year

James Chittick

Flutter Entertainment losses totalled $1.21Billion following a ‘transformative’ year for the business in 2023.

The company did however achieve its headline objective: to become the most valuable PLC in global gambling.

Posting its full accounts for 2023, the joint FTSE and NYSE-listed gambling group published revenues of $11.7bn. This represents a 24% increase from FY2022’s $9.4bn figure.

In terms of headline growth, Flutter delivered on its goals of localising its strategy within core markets. Its global brand portfolio serviced 12.3m players per month on average, up from 10.2m in 2022.

Flutter emphasised that “product innovations have generated 3.7 million new customers with attractive projected payback periods”.

When examining year-end accounts, Flutter’s corporate adjusted EBITDA was $1.97bn, up 45% on the previous year’s $1.29bn.

One key thing to note was FanDuel’s positive contribution. It generated “an adjusted EBITDA of $65m and a Further Adjusted EBITDA of $167m despite significant Q4 2023 customer-friendly sports results”.

Flutter Entertainment’s corporate net losses of $1.21bn were incurred due to it recognising non-cash charges of $1.68bn.

The FY2023 impairments have been further broken down as: “a $725m impairment on the PokerStars trademark in alignment with the enhanced focus on the ‘local hero’ strategy; $791m in amortisation of acquired intangible assets; and a $165m adjustment in the fair value of the Fox Option liability, resulting in an IFRS net loss of $981m”.

CEO Looking At Positives Despite Flutter Entertainment Losses

Peter Jackson, group CEO, claimed Flutter’s achievements are “underpinned by a localised approach to technology and product, coupled with the unique scale advantages of the Flutter Edge.”

He added: “As expected, our number one position in the US has transformed the Group’s earnings profile in 2023, with FanDuel posting a positive US full-year Adjusted EBITDA for the first time.

“Beyond the US, we’ve made excellent progress integrating Sisal into our international business, a sterling example of our ‘local hero’ strategy at work, capturing market share in the UK & Ireland.”

Aside from the performance of FanDuel in the US, Flutter generated $7.06bn (FY2022 $6.2bn) in revenue, with an adjusted EBITDA of $1.6bn (FY2022: $1.48bn).

And beyond North America altogether, Flutter expanded its “Consolidate and Invest” strategy. This was highlighted by the growing internatrional unit, which hit $2.8bn in revenue, up 34% year-on-year.

EBITDA meanwhile was $592m, a 41% increase from FY2022.

Flutter saw its international growth driven by “a full year of consolidating the Sisal business acquired in 2022, which generated $1,218m in revenue compared with $465m in 2022”.

Strong Showing In UK & Ireland

Flutter focussed on maximising operational efficiencies in the UK and Ireland. This helped benefit its recreational customer base, with AMPs increasing by 5%.

By leveraging these efficiencies from regulatory adjustments, Flutter’s UK& Ireland brands grew steadily.

There was a 13% rise to $3bn in revenue, up from $2.7bn in FY2022. EBITDA contribution meanwhile was $888m, up from $757m the previous year.

And despite facing challenges, Flutter stated its “strong UKI performance added 2 percentage points to its GGR market share, reaching 30%”.

In Australia, FY2023 results were less positive. Flutter saw a 7% revenue decline to $1.4bn, down from $1.51bn in 2022. EBITDA dropped 23% from $477m to $348m.

The drop reflects softer trading this year against Covid-enhanced revenue metrics and new POC taxes. These weakened the EBITDA performance of Sportsbet Australia, Flutter’s flagship brand in the country.

Discussing Flutter’s non-US results, Peter Jackson said: “Outside the US, revenue grew by 6.3% as the market-driven decline in Australia was more than offset by growth in our UKI and other international businesses.

“We believe that our strategy and competitive advantages well position us to continue growing the business through both organic and inorganic opportunities.”

Flutter Entertainment’s 2024 Targets Outlined

Looking forward to FY2024, Flutter offered some preliminary targets. The company reportedly “anticipates a 17.5% increase in revenue and a 30.2% growth in Further Adjusted EBITDA at the midpoint”.

US revenues are expected to range between $5.8bn to $6.2bn (up 36.3%) and Further Adjusted EBITDA between $635m to $785m (up 206.1%).

Beyond the US, projected revenue is at $7.65bn to $8.05bn (up 6.3% increase), with Further Adjusted EBITDA expected at $1.63bn to $1.83bn (up 5.4%).

This forecast has prompted an update of the medium-term leverage ratio target to 2-2.5x, reflecting the potential of Flutter’s earnings and cash flow.

Flutter also concluded its year trading by confirming that its primary shareholding would move to the NYSE in 2024.

Peter Jackson explained: “I was proud to see Flutter shares trading for the first time on the NYSE on January 29 2024 and we have been encouraged by the increased focus from new US investors as a result of our US listing.

“We are working towards a shareholder vote on May 1, 2024 to approve our primary listing move to NYSE.”

Despite 2023’s Flutter Entertainment losses, there seems plenty of reason for optimism within the company, particularly in non-US markets.

James Chittick
James Chittick