Luck Is Up For Paddy Power

Not a great few months for the bookmaker: winning punters have cost it €10m.

by Rachel Savage

Gamblers won big at Paddy Power this summer: the Irish bookmaker warned today that successful flutters cost it €10m (£8.4m) more than expected between the start of July and mid-November. So much for betting shops beating the odds.

In a statement this morning, it said the Australian Spring Racing Carnival and Champions League had produced ‘notably poor results’, with legions of bookies grimacing as they handed over fat piles of cash to cheering punters.

The company now expects ‘low to mid single digit percentage’ (management speak for ‘not great’) operating profit growth for 2013, about €11m lower than it previously forecast. Like-for-like retail sales in Paddy Power’s UK stores dropped 2% in the period, although the bookies’ Australian revenues were up 23% and total sales climbed 7%.

Bets were off for investors too - Paddy Power’s shares fell as much as 9.3% this morning. British rival Ladbrokes also took a recent stockmarket pounding, after it was forced to deny reports last week that it was issuing a second profit warning in as many months.

Looks like investors aren’t betting big on bookmakers for now, but all it could take is one big win…

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