Stellar Paddy Power Betfair Interim Released

Momentum maintained; merger integration progressing ahead of schedule, management reports

The much-anticipated H1-2016 results from the merged Paddy Power Betfair group were posted Wednesday, with management claiming that momentum has been maintained, and that the integration of the two betting giants is ahead of schedule.
Highlights of the report include:
* Revenue up 18 percent to GBP 759 million, with double-digit growth in all four divisions;
* Online revenue up 20 percent to GBP 440 million, with sportsbook stakes up 20 percent;
* Australia revenue up 17 percent to GBP 129 million, with sportsbook stakes up 30 percent;
* Retail revenue up 12 percent to GBP 147 million, with sportsbook stakes up 10 percent; and
* US revenue up 16 percent to GBP 43 million;
* Operating leverage delivered underlying EBITDA growth of 31 percent to GBP 181 million;
* Marketing spend increased 31 percent to GBP 37 million;
* Interim dividend of 40 pence per share takes total dividends for the period to 52 pence per share.
The company listed second quarter 2016 highlights as:
* Revenue up 20 percent to GBP 420 million, including a strong Euro 2016 Football performance;
* Underlying EBITDA up 33 percent to GBP 122 million;
* Underlying operating profit up 40 percent to GBP 105 million;
* Merger integration progressing ahead of plan with the majority of actions already completed;
* Anticipating GBP 65 million of cost synergies with the full benefit to be achieved in 2017, a year earlier than originally envisaged;
* Full year 2016 proforma underlying EBITDA is expected to be between GBP 365 million and GBP 385 million.
Chief executive officer Breon Corcoran reported:
"Paddy Power Betfair has sustained good momentum through a period of considerable change. The restructuring is now largely complete and the merger synergies are being delivered ahead of schedule.
"We are creating a world-class operation by exploiting the unique assets and capabilities of each legacy business, particularly in the key functions of technology, marketing and trading.
"While our industry remains highly competitive and is exposed to the prevailing economic and regulatory environments, our strong market positions, increased scale and enhanced capabilities position us well for sustainable, profitable growth".

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