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One mobile phone bet made every three seconds at Paddy Power site

Bookmaker group posts record profits – coming from online and overseas ventures.

PADDY POWER BOOKMAKERS posted what they describe as “record results” for 2010, with increased profits in all areas of their business.

The company recorded an operating profit of €104m and a turnover of €3.8bn. That’s good news for shareholders in the group who will receive a full year dividend of 75c a share – that’s up 28 per cent from 2009.

The average amount staked by punters increased last year from €2.75bn in 2009 to the aforementioned €3.8bn, up 39 per cent.

The domestic high street market has shrunk for the company, which made three-quarters of its profits online and two-thirds of it overseas. PaddyPower.com generated a 26 per cent increase in its operating profit, up to €57.5m.

Paddy Power CEO Patrick Kennedy points to online innovation in particular,as being responsible for the company’s growth. At one point last year, Paddy Power was the only bookmaker in the world to have an iPhone app in the Apple App Store. A mobile phone sports bet is made on average every three seconds online.

The largest online operator in Ireland, the company has noted a drop in the average stake laid down in their high street shops – the average bet there is down by 10 per cent. However, it took the publication of its profit results this morning as an opportunity to point out that their market share of the bookmakers’ shop business in Ireland had grown to over 30 per cent. Said Kennedy:

We estimate that our competitors have closed 200 shops since August 2008, while we have closed none and opened 20 over the same period. We expect this trend to continue.

The UK market, and operations in Australia and France, have been important to the growth of the company in the last year. CEO Patrick Kennedy told RTE Radio’s Morning Ireland that the international operations had “moved on very substantially in the last month”. The company has customers now in 162 countries.

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