Reporting the company’s financial results for the three months to September 30, Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi called the period a “landmark quarter during a transformative year”.
Total revenue in the quarter shot up, rising 73.6 per cent year on year, to $572m. Earnings (adjusted EBITDA) also climbed dramatically, up 27.3 per cent against the same period in 2017, to $198m.
For the year to date, the figures are just as impressive, with YTD total revenue standing at $1.38bn at the end of September, a rise of 44.6 per cent year on year. Adjusted EBITDA was up 19.5 per cent (YTD), rising to $542m.
Referencing the group’s vision “to become the world’s favourite igaming destination” Ashkenazi said: “We completed our acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming, which was cleared by the [UK competition watchdog] CMA in October, making us the leader in the UK online betting and gaming market. We also launched BetEasy in Australia and sports betting in New Jersey.
“We are pleased with our quarterly results, which reflect both continued organic growth from our International business and contributions from both BetEasy and Sky Betting & Gaming, despite unfavourable sporting results during the period,” continued Ashkenazi.
“As we look towards 2019, we are excited to take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us by leveraging our leading positions in attractive markets, strong brands, technology and operating expertise,” he said.
With regard to the advent of legalised sports betting in the US, post PASPA, Stars reiterated its intention to enter Pennsylvania’s online sports wagering and gaming market, following the August deal with Mount Airy.
In September, Stars launched its BetStars online sports betting brand in New Jersey through a partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel, alongside the group’s existing online poker and casino offerings available through the PokerStarsNJ and PokerStars Casino NJ brands.
Stars also highlighted expected synergies of “at least $70m” from the Sky acquisition, with “approximately 53 per cent” relate to headcount and other staff costs.
The group estimates that it may achieve approximately $5m of these synergies before year end, followed by a further $50m in 2019 and an additional $15m in 2020. Stars continues to expect approximately $85m in implementation costs to achieve those synergies, with the majority of such costs being incurred in 2019.