Monday 25 September 2017

30 go in Dublin as Paddy Power identifies doubling up of office jobs

30 workers have left Paddy Power
30 workers have left Paddy Power
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Around 30 people have left bookmaker Paddy Power with severance packages, with others reshuffled into different jobs, after some employees were found to be doing the same jobs at its Dublin head office.

An unknown number were offered severance packages after an internal review identified that they were doing the same jobs as other Paddy Power employees in Dublin and, to a lesser extent, in London.

Those affected worked in support roles in the retail, online and product and technology units at so-called 'Power Tower', the company's Clonskeagh headquarters.

The reorganisation began this summer and will continue for another month.

Some of those identified as working duplicate jobs were required to reapply for their job, in competition with the colleague found to be doing the same role.

If unsuccessful they were offered different jobs in other parts of the company, but those that chose not to take this were eligible for a severance package.

None of the exits were mandatory.

The company is still hiring in other divisions. It is currently advertising for 100 jobs, with a third of these based in Power Tower.

Paddy Power declined to comment.

The company is one of the country's biggest private employers. Its worldwide staff exceeded 5,000 in March. Some 2,600 of these are based in Ireland.

However new chief executive Andy McCue said earlier this year that there would be a moderation in headcount growth.

Paddy Power has also recently rolled back on some secondary products including planned Facebook betting app Paddy Power In-Play, a mobile casino app, and a betting challenge that it previously said was "revolutionising the way people bet on sports."

McCue said the products hadn't panned out as the bookmaker hoped.

In the UK, meanwhile, the company is thought to be interested in bidding for outlets controlled by rivals Ladbrokes and Gala Coral after the two British operators announced a €3.2bn merger.

The merger will create the UK's biggest bookmaker with around 4,000 outlets and 45pc of the UK's retail bookmaking industry.

To satisfy competition concerns, the combined entity will probably have to have to sell hundreds of these outlets.

Analysts said this offers Paddy Power, the UK's fourth biggest bookmaker with 321 stores in the UK at the end of last year, an opportunity to expand in the UK

Paddy Power's British retail operation made an operating profit of €174m last year - a sum that is relatively small in the context of its overall operating profit for the year of €882m.

The UK competition authority's approval process, however, is expected to take several months, so Paddy Power's intentions may not become clear for some time.

Gala Coral chief executive Carl Leaver has said that he expects it to be a phase two investigation.

A simpler phase one investigation takes 40 days, after which time the Competition and Markets Authority can either approve a merger without reservation, approve it subject to certain undertakings, or insist upon a more detailed phase two investigation.

A phase two process lasts 24 weeks, with the possibility of a further eight if needed.

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