August 24, 2016

Merger costs leave Paddy Power Betfair with £47.5m loss

Merger costs left Paddy Power Betfair with a £47.5 million sterling (€55.4 million) loss at the end of June.

The group also announced that that Paddy Power co-founder Stewart Kenny, who as chief executive led the Irish bookie’s flotation in 2001, is stepping down from the board.

Paddy Power Betfair said on Wednesday that revenues grew 18 per cent to £759 million in the six months ended June 30th from £642 million million during the same period last year.

Operating profits grew 39 per cent to £147.6 million from £106.5 million over the same period.

However, a charge of £195.1 million for the cost of merging Paddy Power and Betfair to create the group in February, left it with a £47.5 million loss.

That included £49 million for integrating the two businesses , which is likely to have cost a total of £65 million by the year’s end, and £50 million in fees and duty.

Chief executive, Breon Corcoran said that the restructuring that followed the merger of Paddy Power and Betfair in February is now completed and that savings are being delivered ahead of schedule.

Paddy Power Betfair now believes that the merger will cut the enlarged group’s costs by £65 million, £15 million more than originally expected, with the full benefit of this kicking in next year.

The group expects that earnings for the full year will be between £365 million and £385 million, 22 per cent to 25 per cent more than the £296 million total that the two businesses generated in 2015.

Its accounts treat the group’s figures as if Paddy Power and Betfair had always been merged.

In the first half, its on-line division, including Paddy Power and Betfair in Ireland, Britain and Europe, earned £140 million in operating profits, 40 per cent more than during the same period last year.

Its 603 Paddy Power betting shops in Britain and Ireland grew profits by 21 per cent to £23 million.

A sharp rise in costs left operating profits from Sportsbet in Australia trailing by 12 per cent at £26.1 million.

Product fees, inflation and an increase in jobs combined to drive the increase in costs. The group expects this to ease in the second half.

Profits at its US division, which includes of the horseracing and betting network, TVG and Betfair Casino, increased by more than 153 per cent to £2.9 milion.

Mr Corcoran pointed out that its industry remained highly competitive and was subject to regulation and economic conditions.

“Our strong market positions, increased scale and enhanced capabilities position us well for sustainable, profitable growth,” he said.

Mr Kenny co-founded Paddy Power in 1988 and was chief executive until 2002, the year after it launched on the Dublin stock market, and chaired it for a further year.

Current chairman, Gary McGann, noted Mr Kenny was retiring after many years of service to the company. “We wish him every success in the future and thank him for his incredible contribution to this business,” Mr McGann said.

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