Flutter Entertainment face £110 million hit as global sporting events are cancelled

Flutter Entertainment PLC (LON:FLTR) have told the market that its’ full year earnings could be affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus, which has seen shares dive into red.

Shares in Flutter Entertainment trade at 5,748p (-11.24%). 16/3/20 10:30BST.

The firm noted that it could face a £110 million hit – if global governments continue to cancel events until the end of August due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The firm said: ‘In recent days, many national governments and sports authorities around the world have made the decision to postpone/cancel high attendance sports events in an effort to delay the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This will obviously have a material impact on the revenue and earnings of the Group which, in 2019, generated approximately 78% of its revenues through bets placed on global sporting events.

Quantifying the precise earnings impact on the Group is difficult at this point as we do not have visibility on the duration of restrictions on sporting events. While most major global sports have been suspended/cancelled, there are some exceptions where events are now being scheduled to take place behind closed doors.’

Sporting associations across the globe have made the move to cancel fixtures and games until the outbreak settles down. Notably, fans of the Premier League will not see their teams in action until two weeks time, whilst Champions League fixtures have been postponed until further notice.

Flutter said that in 2019, 78% of its’ revenue was accounted from global sporting events – which have now been placed on hold.

The firm said that it is expecting to continue trading across its’ UK and Irish stores – as horse racing events such as Cheltenham Festival continue to run. If these events are cancelled then the firm could take a further bruising of £30 million each month.

Peter Jackson, Chief Executive noted: “The challenge currently facing our business and the industry more widely is unprecedented in modern times. Our focus, first and foremost, is on protecting the welfare of our employees and our customers and we will leave nothing to chance in this regard. While our near-term profitability will be impacted by the essential measures being taken globally, the Board will remain focused on protecting shareholder value and managing the business through these turbulent times.”

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