Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Paddy Power owner Flutter does not anticipate ‘significant’ job losses in Ireland as it evolves its online offering

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Paddy Paddy owner Flutter said it did not envisage “significant” job losses in Ireland, as the betting giant continues to move more operations online.

Speaking after a trading update, Flutter’s chief financial officer Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson said the company’s retail presence across the Republic was “still important” as it continued its “evolution from retail to online”. 

Mr Edgecliffe-Johnson said “there are no plans for significant job losses” at its Irish operations and, while it continues to review its estate, it also is keeping an eye on “better sites” for bookmakers across the country.

The company employs about 12,000 staff across its 230 retail shops across the Republic.

Last year, Flutter announced it would permanently shutter 21 Paddy Power bookies in the Republic, affecting 78 jobs.

‘Committed to Ireland’

Mr Edgecliffe-Johnson also told reporters the company remained “committed to Ireland” and would remain incorporated and a tax resident in Ireland despite recently moving its stock listing to New York.

Meanwhile, the company continues to invest in safer gambling measures in response to a global crackdown on poor betting practices that can affect vulnerable customers. The company injects about $100m (€92.4m) into measures to line up with the changing regulatory environment for gambling firms.

“We’re happy to put our money where our mouth is,” Mr Edgecliffe-Johnson said.

Flutter shares fell 2% in late trading after the company posted an increase in net losses during the first three months of the year.

Net losses

The company’s net losses rose to $177m, compared to $111m during the same period a year earlier.

The company said the net loss came following non-cash charges of $356m. Of this, €172m was said to be “acquired intangibles amortisation” while $184m was the fair value change in Fox Option liability.

Fox Corporation has an option to acquire 18.6% of Flutter’s market leading FanDuel business in the US.

However, the company also posted revenue of $3.4bn, up from $2.9bn during the same period last year. The betting company’s average number of monthly players also increased from 12,349 to 13,722.

The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation rose 46% to $514m.

Despite the higher losses, Flutter said it was confident in its 2024 guidance, with chief executive of the company Peter Jackson saying it is “focused on continuing to expand our player base, market share, and embedding future profits” particularly in the US.

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