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Paddy Power pre-tax profits up 21 per cent despite some sports results

However, the “normalisation” of sports results has led to a 79 per cent increase in operating profit in Irish shops.

A sign erected in a field beside the Cheltenham race course in 2010.
A sign erected in a field beside the Cheltenham race course in 2010.
Image: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

BOOKIES PADDY POWER has revealed “very strong” financial results for the first six months of 2012.

The group noted a 21 per cent increase in pre-tax profits which were up to €68.7 million despite what the company called “some adverse sports results” since the May trading update.

Accelerated growth in the online divisions was driven by new customers and new business investment, said the firm. In the six month period, the company’s online business secured 50 per cent more customers. Altogether, there are 1.2 million customers actively using online services – one million of whom use paddypower.com.

Brand and product promotion, as well as the Euro 2012 Money-Back Specials contributed to this increase in online customer acquisition, according to CEO Patrick Kennedy.

Key figures from the online sector include a 41 per cent jump in net revenue to €191 million and an operating profit of €48.5 million (up 7 per cent).

Mobile continues its growth spurt with net revenue up a massive 239 per cent to €53 million. Now, more than half of all sportsbook customers transact via mobile.

In May, the group entered Italy and has achieved a 4 per cent share of the online sports betting market in the first full month of operation.

Retail highlights

There was good news for Irish and UK retail stores with operating profit leaping 79 per cent to €9 million in Ireland because of the “normalisation” of sports results. UK retail’s operating profit was up 61 per cent to €7.6 million as 23 new shops were opened between January and June.

Machine gaming in the UK also saw its revenues increase by 5 per cent.

Kennedy noted that each division across the business achieved double digit revenue growth in the six-month period.

“With our online and retail divisions both continuing to deliver substantial growth and our expansion plans progressing, we are confident in the group’s prospects for the rest of the year and beyond,” he added.

The interim dividend of 39 cent per share marks a 30 per cent increase on the previous period.

Start-up losses for the first half of the year amounted to €6.3 million for four new online ventures but looking ahead, Paddy Power expects three of its new products – casino brand Roller, social game BetDash and Cayetano gaming product – to start contributing revenue in the second half of the year.

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