Jake Banks | 16 May 2018

The Stars Group Starts Strong in 2018The year is off to a good start for Toronto-based internet gaming company, The Stars Group. In its first trading update for 2018, the firm posted increased revenues across all of its verticals for an overall 23% year-on-year increase in Quarter 1 of this year.

What’s more, The Stars Group reported increases in every one of its financial indicators. This included group revenues, net earnings, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net earnings, and net cash inflows from operating activities.

With such impressive improvements since Quarter 1 of 2017, the company looks well on its way to achieving its ambition of becoming the world’s Number 1 online gaming destination.

Company-Wide Increases

As mentioned, The Stars Group enjoyed improved figures in Quarter 1 of 2018, compared to the same period in 2017, across all of its financial indicators.

Group revenues rose to $393 million, up from $317 million in 2017, whilst net earnings rose to $74.3 million, up 13.1% from last year. This, in turn, gave rise to a 9.1% uptake in diluted net earnings for a share price of $0.36 per share.

Meanwhile, The Stars Group’s net cash inflows from operating activities increased to a record-breaking $132 million, a 38.2% year-on-year improvement from Quarter 1 2017’s $95.5 million high. The firm’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (AEBITDA) saw a $175 million (15.9%) year-on-year increase, whilst adjusted net earnings rose by $139 million (22.8%) year on year.

Upon releasing these results, The Stars Group CEO, Rafi Ashkenazi commented that this strong first quarter was a continuation of the firm’s existing organic growth trajectory.

Major Casino and Sportsbook Returns

Of all of The Stars Group’s internet gaming verticals – which include poker, casino and sportsbook operations – the company’s combined real-money online casino and sportsbook offerings were the most lucrative in Q1 of 2018. Together, these operations accrued $134.5 million (a 55% year-on-year increase) in the first quarter of the year.

The Stars Group’s recent acquisitions of Australia’s CrownBet and the UK’s Sky Betting & Gaming no doubt had a significant impact on these positive figures.

At the same time, the company’s flagship offering, PokerStars posted a 12.4% increase in real-money online poker revenues to bring in $245.9 million during the first three months of 2018.

Ashkenazi expressed the company’s delight at these strong results – which he attributed to intensified customer focus, improved product offerings, and the increasingly successful Stars Rewards programme – across all industry verticals.

He added that the company’s recent acquisitions will intensify this success going forward as The Stars Group enjoys a diversified revenue base, increased exposure to regulated markets, and the transformation of its sportsbook into a second channel for customer acquisition.

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