Trump win and lucky punters hit Paddy Power's takings

Donald Trump's shock election victory and unfavourable sporting results dented takings at bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair to the tune of £40 million in the fourth quarter.

Donald Trump's victory in the race for the White House knocked earnings at Paddy Power Betfair. Picture: Andrew Harnik/AP

The company, born out of a £7 billion merger between Paddy Power and Betfair, said the controversial businessman’s successful US presidential bid in November cost it £5m alone.

Like other bookmakers it also flagged a dire December when European football results, such as Chelsea’s string of victories – only ended by a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham earlier this month – saw punters cash in on bookmakers’ woes.

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In a trading update, Paddy Power Betfair said: “We estimate that the impact on group revenue from the customer-friendly results, before any benefit from the recycling of winnings, was approximately £40m in the quarter.

“The impact on profitability of these results was partially offset by lower than expected marketing and staff costs.”

Nevertheless, overall revenues in 2016 were up 18 per cent to £1.5bn, or 11 per cent on a constant currency basis, and the group said that underlying earnings are expected to come in at the “mid-point” of the £390m to £405m range of expectations.

Revenue rose 10 per cent to £388m in the last three months of the year, but was flat on a constant currency basis.

The adverse sporting results saw revenue down 3 per cent at Paddy Power Betfair’s online division in the fourth quarter, despite a 15 per cent rise in sporting stakes.