The Stars Group Reveal Q4 and FY 2018 Financials
Commenting on the results, Rafi Ashkenazi, The Stars Group’s Chief Executive Officer said 2018 had been a landmark year for the company, as it had completed the acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming in the UK and BetEasy in Australia, whilst extending its licensed footprint to 21 jurisdictions around the world.
Strong Organic Growth Marked 2018
Ashkenazi added The Stars Group had also begun laying the foundation to increase its presence in the United States.
He pointed out the company’s International business had seen strong organic growth in 2018, despite restrictions in certain markets and lapping the initial roll-out of the Stars Rewards program. Ashkenazi pointed out that segments in the UK in Australia had performed in-line with the company’s expectations during the fourth quarter, and stated The Stars Group believed they were well-positioned to continue gaining market share in 2019.
Speaking about 2019, Ashkenazi said the gaming giant was excited to take advantage of the opportunities by leveraging its leading positions in attractive markets, strong brands, technology and operating expertise.
The Stars Group is more than pleased with the results in the first two months of 2019 and is on track to reduce expenses associated with the acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming by $70 million.
Numbers Going Up
Total revenue in the last quarter of the year went up by 81.2% to $652.9 million, while revenue for full-year increased by 54.6% to $2.03 billion. Gross profit, excluding depreciation and amortization, increased by 67.7% for the quarter ($486.8 million), and 47.4% for the whole year ($1.57 billion). The adjusted EBITDA reached $239.4 million for the quarter, representing a rise of 62.9%. For the full year, the adjusted EBITDA stands at $780.95 million, an improvement of 30.1% over 2017.
According to The Stars Group, the revenue for the quarter and year improved as a direct result of the purchase of Sky Betting & Gaming and BetEasy. International segment was the main driving force behind this growth, primarily through the further development of the company’s online casino and sports betting offerings.
During Q4, The Stars Group completed the payment of its revolving credit facility, ending the year with a debt of $5.45 billion ($5.05 billion in Net Debt), while its operational cash increased by 38.7% from 2017 to $393 million. The company has also announced it will continue to decrease its debt in 2019.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision to lift the federal ban on sports betting, The Stars Group entered a number of markets within the US, signing new agreements with Mount Airy Casino and Eldorado Resort.
In the second half of 2018, following the U.S. Supreme Court decision relating to sports betting, The Stars Group entered into various market access agreements with Mount Airy Casino and Eldorado Resorts. In total, The Stars Group is present in 13 states. In addition to this, the company launched its BetStars online sports betting brand in New Jersey, while signing a deal which made The Stars Group an authorized gaming operator of the NBA.