Flutter Entertainment has become the first UK betting firm to revise its full-year 2020 corporate guidance due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The estimated figures are based on the current assumption that the group’s UK and Irish shops will remain open, and that scheduled UK, Irish and Australian horse racing fixtures continue to run, albeit behind closed doors.
At present, the company anticipates that COVID-19 disruptions across core betting sectors may result in a £90-110m decline in its full-year EBITDA results.
It also predicted that 78 per cent of its group revenues will affect operations, which are currently generated through bets placed on global sporting events.
Peter Jackson, chief executive, commented on the figures, he said: “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.”
A cancellation of horse racing events across the three regions, however, is expected to ‘incrementally reduce group EBITDA by approximately £30m per month’.
In its statement, Flutter confirmed that prior to the announcement of cancellations, trading in the quarter had been running ahead of expectations, which has largely been driven ‘by good customer momentum and favourable sporting results’.