Paddy Power’s profits fall

Paddy Power, the Irish bookmaker’s pre-tax profit in 2009 was down 15% despite an increase turnover.

Pre-tax profit for 2009 fell to €67.2, from €79m in 2008, due to contraction in the UK and Irish economies, for one thing,the company said. Turnover rose 36% to €2,752, from €2,101m the previous year.

Patrick Kennedy, chief executive, said: “Despite the economic problems, 2009 was a cracking year for Paddy Power punters on two fronts,” citing a slew of punter-friendly sporting results “which was the exact opposite to the experience of the prior year,” which included spending €10m more than in 2008 on campaigns such as “This One’s on Us”, paying for a customer’s bet after they’d placed it; and helped grow active sportsbook customers by 21% year on year, and total amounts staked by 32% from €2.1bn to €2.75bn. Online sportsbook bet volumes rose 55% year-on-year.

Online continued to grow recording record profit of €45.7m, 7% up on the figure of €42.8m for 2008, and accounting for 75% of the group’s full-year operating profit, compared to just 57% in 2008.

However, sports results fell in an overall reduction in group gross win of approximately €29m over the year, substantially more than the €9m year-on-year reduction in operating profit to €67m.