‘The adoption of mobile across our markets, combined with our e-commerce capabilities, technology and brand, means we now have nearly twice as many active online customers than we had in 2010,’ said CEO Patrick Kennedy.
Paddy Power – a regular top 10 contender in MT’s Britain’s Most Admired Companies in recent years – also managed to salt away more dosh, it’s cash pile growing to 209m Euros. A war chest which presents Kennedy with what plenty of what they call in the trade ‘opportunities to create shareholder value’.
Will he head out on the acquisition trail or look at some big opportunities for organic growth? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime shareholders should be pretty happy with total dividends of 120 cents per share in 2012, up 20%. Not a bad little earner.
It’s not all good news however, Kennedy also warned that currency devaluations may throttle its performance this year. Getting on for 75% of its trade comes from the UK and Australia, both nations whose currencies have been under pressure in comparison with the Euro recently. Further devaluation of the already shrinking pound looks likely as 2013 progresses, a prosepect which Kennedy reckons could knock 10m Euros off operating profits for the year. Oh well, win some lose some.
Paddy Power, which is famous for cheeky stunts, is also in hot water again over a giant billboard outside Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge ground. The poster takes aim at the disappointing performance of £50m striker Fernando Torres, saying ‘Fernando, we’ve got an onion bag you can actually find. It’s in the burger van mate, get your hair net on.’
Chelsea has so far failed in legal efforts to have the poster removed, on the grounds that it is not on club property…