Earnings call: Flutter CEO ready to “get ahead” in Brazil

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Flutter’s Q4 financial results saw growth in the US push revenue 25% to £9.51bn (€11.08bn/$12.07bn). While Flutter did not delve into too many details, Brazil is certainly on everyone’s mind with the country on the verge of regulating.

Jackson said he was “pleased” with Pokerstars and Betfair’s performances in Brazil. He added, “It’s been some time coming, but we hope at some point the regulation will be signed in Brazil.”

Flutter is nearing the end of a three-year performance strategy, said Jackson

Jackson then outlined Flutter’s three-year performance in Brazil. The group plans to culminate in a race to the finish line for the third year.

“From an igaming perspective, we’re following the strategy we laid out at the capital markets day,” he explained. “We said in the first year there were things that were broken that we were going to fix. We said in the second year we’d get to product parity and in the third year we’re going to get ahead of the market.”

Using M&A as a driver for success

The chief executive said that Flutter has been focused on organic growth “and that’s something we’ve been doing in Brazil”. He also praised the company’s M&A moves in the region. The group sees this as a way of finalising its position in the market.

“But we’ve also used M&A as well as a means of cementing positions on the podium and trying to achieve that gold-medal position,” explained Jackson.

Looking at Q4 as a whole, Jackson said that Flutter had seen a strong performance in sports and casino. This is despite the sporadic nature of the first and final quarter.

“Obviously we’re very pleased with the performance we saw in Q4,” he said. “It’s worth remembering that our business, from a sports perspective, has a degree of seasonality. Q4 and Q1 are always going to be the busiest periods for us.

FLUTTER IS “MAKING MOVES” TO BE A LEADER IN THE CASINO SPACE

“Even in Q4, there’s that period where there’s a strong push at the beginning of the football season to make sure we reactivate and re-engage customers.”

Similarly to its strategy for success in Brazil, Jackson said Flutter is making moves to be a leader in the casino space.

“We’re also seeing very strong momentum in casino as well, as we execute on our strategy to move ahead of the pack from a product perspective,” he continued. “We hope to see further gains in that area.”

This is evident in its UK performance, where gaming revenue was up 17% on a constant currency (CC) basis, as well as total average monthly players climbed 5% to 3.9 million.

Flutter competition soars in the US

Speaking on Flutter’s key revenue driver for the year, Jackson acknowledged Flutter’s place within the continually competitive US market.

FanDuel’s sportsbook currently holds a 43% gross revenue market share across all US jurisdictions in which it operates.

In total, revenue rose 38% year-on-year to £3.06bn. Revenue was 19% higher during Q4 at £1.14bn. Its US igaming offering also had a 26% share during the quarter.

However, Flutter noted that that revenue in the period was lower than expected, missing an initial target by £147m.

“From a competitive intensity perspective, every year is competitive,” he explained.

“The launch of the football season, new competitors out there – there’s Fanatics, ESPN, we’ve had Caesars, BetMGM – over the years we’ve had a lot of competitors.

“I think this year was very intense. But I think the quality of our products stands us in very good stead. When I look at the returns we’re seeing in Q4 from the customer acquisitions, we’re very pleased,” Jackson continued.

“We’re right down at the bottom end of our payback periods. The business is in a good place. We’ve got a great product and great momentum to exit the year in the states.”

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