Paddy Power's strong start to year
Paddy Power has confirmed that Gary McGann will become its new chairman, succeeding incumbent Nigel Northridge.
Mr McGann is retiring as chief executive of packaging giant Smurfit Kappa at the end of the summer. He'll take up his role at Paddy Power at the end of June.
Today, the company will also start delivering a €442m payout to shareholders as part of a previously announced final dividend of €1.02 per share, and a special payment of €8 per share. Those funds should be distributed to shareholders by June 5.
At its annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday, Mr Northridge said that the year has started well for Paddy Power. He added that while there had been a number of unfavourable sports results, this had been offset by strong top-line growth, particularly in Australia.
In its online business, sports betting stakes grew by 24pc between January and May 11, with total net revenue up by 36pc.
Total group net revenue was 26pc higher in constant currency terms in the period. That compares to a forecast of 18.8pc by Davy Stockbrokers.
In its Irish retail business, Paddy Power said that net revenue rose 10pc. The company said it had been helped by new legislation that enables betting shops to remain open in the evening throughout the year.
Davy Stockbrokers said that it seems "highly probable" that Paddy Power will beat the broker's year-end earnings before interest and tax forecast of €167m.