Paddy Power reports ‘excellent’ 2014, readies €392m dividend

3 March 2015

Andy McCue, chief executive of Paddy Power, has hailed an “excellent” year for the Irish bookmaker after posting double-digit increases in stakes, revenues and profits.

The Irish firm will also be paying out €392m in dividends to shareholders despite working in a more heavily taxed and regulated environment while sports results have been volatile as a whole.   

The bookmaker posted net revenue of €882 million ($987.1 million) in the 12 months through to December 31, up 18% on the previous year.

Gross profit increased 16% year-on-year to €713.9 million while operating profit also jumped 21% to a record high of €167 million.

In addition, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation grew by 20% year-on-year to €211.8 million while dividends at the year’s end were up 13% to 152.0 cents.

Paddy Power also drew attention to the success of its individual business units, with the net revenue of its overall online operation up 19% on the previous year to €553 million.

The bookmaker noted that of this total, 55% was collected via mobile activities.

Paddy Power's activities in Italy however were not as fruitful as it would have hoped, despite operating profits up 85% to €7.9m, the company said it was reviewing its business there to “position our business better for this market reality”.  

In terms of product roll-outs, the bookmaker added that it would develop key strategic partnerships but would increase its focus on in-house development with product differentiation and innovation as the tools to further attract and retain customers.  

Meanwhile, the Paddy Power retail business also experienced substantial growth in 2014, with like-for-like net revenue of its UK operation up 8%.

The bookmaker also expanded its shop portfolio to a total of 322 sites in the UK, while its land-based Irish network also expanded to 243 shops.

“2014 was an excellent year for Paddy Power with robust double digit growth in stakes, revenues and profits, and a marked increase in customer acquisition,” McCue said.

“We are strongly positioned in the key growth areas of online and mobile, whilst also benefitting from a differentiated and resilient retail presence. Our distinctive brands and deeply rooted marketing capability are core assets.

“As I look ahead, the pace of change in the sector and in the wider consumer environment is intensifying. We continually develop and adapt to anticipate the needs of customers and maintain an edge in the market.

“We have re-organised the business to significantly sharpen our focus on product differentiation and innovation, and to increase in-house development.

“This, combined with clear investment priorities, will pave the way for sustained performance and market leadership.”

Related article: Paddy Power Pistorius ad attracts most complaints in 2014