The price of shares in FTSE 100 bookmaker Flutter (LON:FLTR) jumped 12.16% to 8,744p (as of 11:55 BST) after the firm published a first-quarter trading update. Management said that total revenues were up by 16% year-on-year, but there had been a notable slowdown due to COVID-19. Prior to 15th March, revenues had been up by 29%, helped by bookmaker-friendly sporting results in all regions.
CEO Peter Jackson commented: “The Group performed very well in the period prior to the disruption to sporting events in mid-March. We delivered strong customer growth across each of our brands and benefitted from favourable sports results across our sportsbooks. Following the widespread cancellation of sporting events, Group revenues have been more resilient than we initially expected, helped by the continuation of horse racing in Australia and the US. Gaming continues to perform well across the Group.
“During this unprecedented time, we are keenly aware of our heightened responsibility to ensure that we do all we can to promote responsible gambling. We have stepped up our own practices and are collaborating with our peers within the Betting and Gaming Council to continue to raise standards across the sector. We are also working hard to provide all the support we can to our employees and I would like to thank them for their ongoing commitment and support for each other during this difficult period.
“While the current disruption is truly exceptional, it underlines the importance of product and geographic diversification. As such, the strategic logic of our combination with The Stars Group remains compelling. Following approval of the deal yesterday by the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, we look forward to completing the transaction in Q2 upon receipt of outstanding shareholder and regulatory approvals“.