Online growth drives Paddy Power profits

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Bookmaker Paddy Power today said its online betting operations were going from “strength to strength” as it reported a 15 per cent rise in full-year profits.

The Dublin-based company has 217 shops in the UK but almost three-quarters of its €139.2 million (£120.3m) profit came online, having doubled its number of active customers to 1.6 million since 2010.

Much of the growth is due to betting through smartphones and tablet computers, with mobile revenues soaring by 185 per cent to €129m in the year to December.

Chief executive Patrick Kennedy said: “Online goes from strength to strength. The adoption of mobile across our markets, combined with our e-commerce capabilities, technology and brand, means we now have nearly twice as many active online customers than we had in 2010.”

Operating profits from Paddy Power’s UK retail operation jumped 46 per cent to €15.3m, and the group opened 44 shops during the year.

The board proposed a 16 per cent increase in the final dividend to 81 cents a share, giving a total payout for the year of 120 cents.