Paddy Power toasts record result
Paddy Power has said a flurry of "bookmaker friendly results" at the end of last year helped it deliver a record set of figures.
The bookmaker and online gaming group reported a 55% hike in 2010 profits to £104.2 million euro, with the concluding stages of the World Cup contributing to a strong sporting result in the final six months.
Its gross win - the amount left by losing punters - rose 50% to 443.5 million euro and Paddy Power said 2011 had started well thanks to ongoing favourable sporting results and against weak comparatives.
Amounts staked rose 16% and gross win increased 38% in the first two months.
Last year's figures were also flattered by its first full year of contribution from Australian betting firm Sportsbet, which Paddy Power recently snapped up.
It bought 51% of Sportsbet in 2009 and last week completed the takeover of the remaining stake.
The group's Irish retail business traded through a tough year for the country's economy, with a drop in average stakes per slip by cost-conscious punters leaving like-for-like total amounts staked down 7%.
However, the group saw earnings in the 207-strong Irish estate increase 8% as it opened nine new shops.
In the UK, its recent expansion saw operating profits leap from 1.3 million euro in 2009 to 7.4 million euro in 2010.
The business - which increased by 31 shops to 124 last year - also benefited from a stronger pound and a World Cup boost, taking home a gross win of 18 million euros (£15.5 million) from last summer's football tournament.