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Punters beat the bookie

Dublin-based bookmaker Paddy Power's operating profit fell by 14pc to €60.1m in the first half of the year after it was hit by a run of unfavourable sports results.

The bookie warned earlier in the year of a "horrific run of sports results".

"There has been an extraordinary run of results," Chief Financial Officer Cormac McCarthy (pictured) said. "Every separate event is a new coin toss."

The firm pushed out its expectation for its Italian business to turn a profit to 2016.