It certainly was not the Q1 2019 that the company wanted to present.
It should have been a time when company executives heralded a huge expanded business portfolio, with group revenue growing almost 50% year-over-year; an opportunity for the company to laud its transformative deal with FOX Sports and its great opportunity in the nascent US market.
Instead, the Q1 2019 earnings call last week was bogged down in discussion of three events, all largely outside the company’s control: Adverse sporting results, unfavorable currency movements, and the continual negative impacts on certain “disrupted markets.”
“Our reported results for the quarter do not fully reflect the strong operational progress we made,” said TSG CEO Rafi Ashkenazi, in pre-recorded remarks during the earnings call.
The company spent much of its hour with analysts breaking down each of these components, explaining how the impact would be short-term and does not reflect the company’s exciting future growth prospects. Unfortunately, this left little time for exploring what those opportunities might be.
The company addressed the first stand-out issue head-on: The huge swing in betting win margin in its newly acquired Sky Betting and Gaming (SBG) business. Betting revenue fell 37% from £92.3 million in Q1 2018 (based on pro-forma figures, as if TSG had owned the business at the beginning of last year) to £57.9 million last quarter.
This was primarily attributed to a net win margin of 5%, far below the average of 9% the business has historically enjoyed. In other words, results fell very heavily in the punters’ favor.