Trump win and 'customer-friendly' sports results deal £40m blow to Paddy Power
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.
The company, born out of a merger between Paddy Power and Betfair, said the controversial businessman's successful US presidential bid in November cost it £5 million alone.
The firm was also stung last year when it decided to pay out £800,000 to gamblers who placed bets on a Hillary Clinton victory before the election result, assuming that she would win.
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 in January - saw punters cash in on bookies' woes.
The group said in a trading update: "We estimate that the impact on group revenue from the customer-friendly results, before any benefit from the recycling of winnings, was approximately £40 million in the quarter.
"The impact on profitability of these results was partially offset by lower than expected marketing and staff costs."
Shares were down over 3% in afternoon trading.
Nevertheless, group revenues in 2016 were up 18% to £1.5 billion, or 11% on a constant currency basis, and the group said that underlying earnings are expected to come in at the "mid-point" of the £390 million to £405 million range of expectations.
Revenue rose 10% to £388 million in the last three months of the year, but was flat on a constant currency basis.
The adverse sporting results saw revenue down 3% at Paddy Power Betfair's online division in the fourth quarter, despite a 15% rise in sporting stakes.