Online bets help drive up bookie profits 15%
Bookmaker Paddy Power said its online betting operations were going from "strength to strength" after it lifted profits by 15% last year.
The Dublin-based company has 209 shops in the UK but almost three-quarters of its €139.2m in profits 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 after mobile revenues increased by 185% last year.
Online profits grew 8% to €102.1m in 2012 – or by 27% before investment in four new ventures – although UK retail profits also continued to grow strongly, up 46% to €15.3m.
It pointed out that only 9% of the €333bn global gambling market was currently online.
Paddy Power opened 44 new shops in the year but excluding the additional outlets, betting volumes were still up 11% on a year earlier. However, it warned that the weakening pound against the euro could reduce operating profits by around €10m this year.