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Paddy Power owner posts 32% sales surge after strong Cheltenham Festival

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Henry Saker-Clark
·2-min read
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Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment said sales rose by almost a third as it was boosted by increased sports betting following a strong Cheltenham Festival.

The company, which also operates the PokerStars brand, reported that total group revenues grew by 32% to £1.48 billion in the quarter to March.

It said this was buoyed by a 41% jump in sports betting to £896 million in the period.

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In the UK and Ireland, sports betting was boosted by the Cheltenham Festival, with the group estimating that Flutter brands accounted for 56% of all activity related to the four-day horse racing event in March.

The group’s UK and Ireland sportsbook grew by 37% year on year, it said, but saw margins decline as sporting results were not as favourable as for the same period last year.

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However, this was partly offset by a shift towards higher margin bets, such as multiples.

Gaming revenues also rose by 41% in the region as customer volumes continued to increase during the latest set of lockdown measures.

Meanwhile, the group posted no UK retail revenues as its betting shops remained shut throughout the period, before welcoming punters back from April 12.

The group saw particularly strong growth in the US, where sales soared by 135% to £288 million following state launches in Michigan and Virginia following the relaxation of local gambling restrictions.

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Flutter chief executive Peter Jackson said: “2021 is off to a strong start for the group.

“We continued to significantly grow our global player base, which in turn drove a 42% increase in our online revenue.

“As restrictions begin to ease and retail reopens across a number of markets, we remain confident that our diversified business leaves us well placed to deliver sustainable growth going forward.”

Shares in the company were 1.2% lower at 15,575p in early trading on Thursday.

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