Online betting growth sees Paddy Power profits rise
Paddy Power has reported a 15% rise in half-year profits, helped by the rise in online and mobile phone betting.
The bookmaker saw pre-tax profits rise 15% to £50.2m in the six months to 30 June, despite a "right bashing" at the Cheltenham Festival.
In the results period, betting by mobile was up 279% to £139m, with 35% of its online customers betting via their mobile phones.
Operating profits rose 25% to £40.1m, helped by an increase in web betting.
The firm admitted it had had to contend with a run of punter-friendly wins at major horse-racing events, such as the Cheltenham Festival and a "bruising" Royal Ascot.
It also paid out £2.6m to punters after a pledge to refund losing bets on the Uefa Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona.
The UK betting division opened 21 new shops over the period and expects to add between 35 and 40 shops every year, focusing on prime High Street locations.
Patrick Kennedy, chief executive of Paddy Power, said: "This has been a great first half for Paddy Power.
"The excellent performance of the online division and the success of our mobile offering stand out."