Paddy Power toasts record result
Paddy Power today said a flurry of "bookmaker friendly results" at the end of last year helped it deliver a record set of figures.
The bookmaker and online gaming group reported a 55pc hike in 2010 profits to €104.2m, with the concluding stages of the World Cup contributing to a strong sporting result in the final six months.
Its gross win - the amount left by losing punters - rose 50pc to €443.5m and Paddy Power said 2011 had started well thanks to ongoing favourable sporting results and against weak comparatives.
Amounts staked rose 16pc and gross win increased 38pc in the first two months.
Last year's figures were also flattered by its first full year of contribution from Australian betting firm Sportsbet, which Paddy Power recently snapped up.
It bought 51pc of Sportsbet in 2009 and last week completed the takeover of the remaining stake.
The group's Irish retail business traded through a tough year for the country's economy, with a drop in average stakes per slip by cost-conscious punters leaving like-for-like total amounts staked down 7pc.
However, the group saw earnings in the 207-strong Irish estate increase 8pc as it opened nine new shops.
In the UK, its recent expansion saw operating profits leap from €1.3m in 2009 to €7.4m in 2010.
The business - which increased by 31 shops to 124 last year - also benefited from a stronger pound and a World Cup boost.
Paddy Power took home a gross win of €18m from last summer's football tournament, with total stakes up to €86m.
It had a winning year for sporting results after being hammered in 2009 by unfavourable horse racing results and a clean sweep by Irish teams of rugby's Grand Slam, Heineken Cup and Magners League titles.
Paddy Power has also been forging ahead with new online innovations, with online earnings up 52pc - or 26pc excluding Sportsbet.
Almost three quarters of its profits were generated online last year, according to the group.
It is also continuing to expand outside of Ireland and said nearly two-thirds of 2010 profits were generated outside of the Republic.
The group is hoping to create another 900 jobs outside Ireland by 2013, including including more than 800 in the UK as the gaming firm steps up the growth of its retail estate.