Paddy Power profits fall as sport results favour punters
The country’s largest bookmaker Paddy Power said annual profit fell 17pc amid "adverse" sporting results from events such as the UK’s Cheltenham horse racing festival.
Net income declined to €56.9m compared with €68.8m a year earlier, the company said in a statement today.
Pretax profit fell 15pc to €67.2m from last year’s €79m before exceptional items.
Paddy Power suffered as a number of Irish horses won races at Cheltenham and the “big four” English Premier League teams won more matches.
Trading in the current fiscal year so far has been “satisfactory,” with January racing cancellations offset by favorable sporting results, the company said.
The bookmaker is “comfortable” with the current range of analysts’ estimates for per-share earnings, Finance Director Jack Massey said in a telephone interview.
“As we always say, that’s part of the business,” Massey said, referring to last year’s sporting results. Trading conditions in the UK are “difficult but not as bad as Ireland,” he said.
Paddy Power rose 75 cents, or 3.3pc, to €23.80 at 8:41am in Dublin trading, giving the company a market value of about €1.1bn.
Operating profit rose 7pc to €45.7m at the Internet betting division, which accounts for about two thirds of profit.
Paddy Power is on track to meet its target of having at least 150 UK betting shops by 2011, Massey said in the interview, and will open about 25 to 30 stores a year.
The company plans to pay a final dividend of 38.9 cents per share, giving a total for the year of 58.4 cents, up 8pc on a year ago.