Paddy Power, Betfair and Fanduel owner Flutter Entertainment has cut its full year profit guidance, sending its shares sharply lower after gamblers enjoyed a winning streak in October.
The world's largest online betting group said it expects full-year adjusted EBITDA of between £1.24 billion and £1.28 billion compared to the £1.27 to £1.37 billion range it had forecast in August.
The company had reported full year earnings of £1.4 billion in 2020.
Bookmakers generally suffer when favourites win and chief executive Peter Jackson said this happened across the board last month, including Liverpool's Premier League hammering of Manchester United and world boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury's latest victory.
The run hit EBITDA by around £60m and Jackson said Flutter avoided another "bloodbath" overnight when short-priced favourite Incentivise came second in the Melbourne Cup horse race.
"It's what happens, occasionally you have a run of bad luck and it's not unhelpful for our punters that they get to see a winning streak," Jackson told reporters.
Flutter shares were sharply lower in Dublin trade today.
Flutter also said today that its temporary withdrawal from the Dutch market is expected to cost it £10m this year. New rules introduced there require gambling operators to apply for a new licence to offer online services.
The suspension will cost a further £40m in 2022, assuming it recommences trading in the third quarter.
Flutter said today that its 2021 third quarter revenue increased by 12% year-on-year on a constant currency basis, driven by a 13% rise in average monthly players and a strong performance in Australia and the US.
Its Sports revenue rose by 17% to £906m from £798m the same time last year while its gaming revenue was up 5% to £534m from £527m.
Flutter said its average monthly players increased by 13% to 7,257,000 from 6,401,000.
Revenue in the UK and Ireland fell 5%, which Flutter said in part reflected a busier period in the same time last year when a number of sporting fixtures were rearranged due to Covid-19.
The 85% growth in revenue in its market leading US FanDuel compared to a surge of 159% in the first half as the Dublin-based group said it remained disciplined about chasing customers among a step-up in competition.
It added that FanDuel is now regularly experiencing staking levels on American Football Sundays that match its 2021 SuperBowl performance as gambling continues to takes off rapidly in the US after a ban was lifted on sports betting in 2018.
Flutter, which said in August that it expected to turn a profit in the US in 2023, expects to make an EBITDA loss of £250-275m there this year versus a previous estimate of £225-275m.
Flutter's CEO Jackson also said Flutter is not bidding for sports website The Athletic.
Commenting on today's rsults, the CEO said the company delivered a strong third quarter performance, with double-digit growth in its global player base.
"This resulted in the group delivering revenue growth of 12% despite challenging comparatives including a concentration of key sporting events in the prior year," he said.
Peter Jackson said the company maintained its leadership position in the US, with the quality of its product offering leading to high levels of customer engagement.
"While a run of customer-friendly results in October have resulted in win margins being below expected levels in the quarter to date, the underlying strength of our business is clear; we have grown our online recreational player base by 46% in just two years," he said.
"With more international jurisdictions and US states on the path to regulation, we look forward to sustainably growing our global player base further in 2022," he added.