Stars Group H1 poker revenue falls as Sky Bet drives sportsbook growth

By Tim Poole

Stars Group saw its total consolidated revenue grow 51% year-on-year for H1 2019 to $1.22bn.

However, $432m of Stars Group’s revenue came from Sky Betting & Gaming, which was acquired in July 2018; this means total revenue would have shrunk were it not for the purchase of the UK operator.

Consequently, online sports betting was Stars Group’s largest product vertical, increasing from 20% of the company's total revenue to 36%; by contrast, online casino dropped from 31% of total revenue to 25%, while online poker shrunk significantly from 53% to 30%.

International poker revenue fell 12% to $405.6m, due to adverse foreign exchange fluctuations and "continued disruptions and regulatory headwinds in certain markets."

Operating income for Stars Group rose 35% to $155.5m, while net earnings grew from an $80.5m loss to $32.3m; adjusted EBITDA increased 26% to $432m.

Nevertheless, adjusted net earnings fell 10% to $243m and the operator has updated its full-year guidance by marginally reducing revenue, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted diluted net earnings per share expectations.

Rafi Ashkenazi, Stars Group CEO, said: "The second quarter underpinned the success of last year's acquisitions, particularly with the record performance of Sky Betting & Gaming and our increasing product and geographic diversification.

“This year has been and remains a year of integration, execution and debt reduction."

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