Stars Group revenue and gross profit rise significantly for 2018

By Tim Poole

The Stars Group saw total revenue rise 55% to $2.02bn for 2018, following the acquisitions of Sky Betting & Gaming in the UK and BetEasy in Australia.

Along with its revenue growth, the company's gross profit rose 47% to $1.67bn. By comparison, fellow operator GVC Holdings grew its pro forma net gaming revenue 8% to £3.5bn ($4.61bn) for 2018, with reported NGR totalling  £2.9bn.

However, Stars Group operating income fell 44% to $252.9m, while net earnings dropped 142% to provide a loss of $108.9m.

Adjusted net earnings increased 16% to $533.9m, with adjusted EBITDA also up 30% to $780.9m.

During Q4, total revenue grew a sizeable 81% year-on-year to $652.9m; gross profit mirrored the full year, rising 58% to $486.8m.

Of this revenue, $356m (54%) came from Stars brands, which was a slight year-on-year decrease from $360.2m; $226m (35%) came from Sky Betting & Gaming and $72m (11%) from BetEasy.

Operating income for the period was down 40% to $67m and net earnings decreased 181% for a loss of $38.2m.

Once again, adjusted net earnings were up 29% to $144.6m, while adjusted EBITDA grew at exactly the same rate in Q4 as it did for the full year (30%), to $144.6m.

Rafi Ashkenazi, Stars Group CEO, said: "2018 was a landmark year for the company. We completed the acquisitions of Sky Betting & Gaming in the UK and BetEasy in Australia, extended our licensed footprint to 21 jurisdictions around the world and began laying the foundations to grow our presence in the US."

For 2019, the operator expects revenue of between $2.64bn and $2.77bn, with adjusted EBITDA in the range of $960m and $1.01bn.

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