Paddy Power Betfair sees sales rise despite 'adverse sports results'
PADDY Power Betfair has reported rising sales and earnings in the first half, but admitted it had been knocked by the lack of a major football tournament and punter-friendly sports results.
The bookmaker, which disclosed on Monday that chief executive Breon Corcoran is to step down after 16 years, reported revenue growth of 9% to £827 million.
Earnings in the six months to June 30 rose 21 per cent to £220 million, but the firm said that, despite strong first-quarter growth helped by favourable Cheltenham results, the following three months were "affected by the absence of a major football tournament and adverse sports results".
Last year bookmakers were boosted by the European Championships, and in particular by England's embarrassing exit at the hands of minnows Iceland.
Mr Corcoran, who is to be replaced by Worldpay chief executive Peter Jackson, said: "We continue to make substantial investments to position Paddy Power Betfair as a structural winner in a dynamic and highly competitive market.
"The focus of this investment is to use technology to improve efficiency and minimise the cost of servicing our customers and to further enhance our customer proposition."
Paddy Power Betfair confirmed that trading is in line with expectations and is guiding for full-year 2017 underlying earnings of between £445 million and £465 million.