Business Irish

Saturday 16 February 2019

Paddy Power chief Andy McCue plans 'clear blue water' in growth stakes

Paddy Power chief executive Andy McCue.
Paddy Power chief executive Andy McCue.
Cormac McCarthy is believed to have ruled himself out of the running
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

You'd be forgiven for thinking that Paddy Power and its rival Ladbrokes operate in completely separate markets.

Last week, Ladbrokes, which has close to 200 shops in Ireland, said its business here is loss-making and that a crack team of its specialists is analysing the operation to decide what to do with it. "Drastic action" is likely, a spokesman told the Irish Independent.

Contrast that with Paddy Power, whose Irish retail arm saw profits rise 9pc to €15.6m last year.

Its retail division here only accounts for 9.5pc of overall Paddy Power operating profits, but does serve to demonstrate how the business has performed - a reflection of the wider group.

Paddy Power has for years been targeting growth from online activities, while some rivals lagged on that front and later paid for it.

Now Paddy Power is generating 77pc of its operating profits online, with mobile a core asset.

Chief executive Andy McCue said yesterday: "I firmly believe we have the capabilities and the ideas to create clear blue water between our products and those of the competition." He said the company will further expand its in-house development capabilities and launch "innovative betting products".

The company already employs almost 2,600 people in Ireland, 10pc more than it did at the end of 2013.

Mr McCue plans to emphasise development of Paddy Power's mobile rather than desktop applications, and, unsurprisingly, online over retail.

The world changes fast. Paddy Power has done a good job keeping up. All eyes will now be on Mr McCue to further deliver.

Irish Independent

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