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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

City looking for online clues from Paddy Power Betfair

2017 was a "year of transition" for Paddy Power Betfair
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Analysts are hoping to hear how Paddy Power Betfair are planning to move forward after a "year of transition" when the company unveil their preliminary results for 2017 on Wednesday.

They will be the bookmaker's first results announcement since Peter Jackson took over from Breon Corcoran as chief executive in January.

Analysts at Goodbody said they expected the company to report net revenue of £1.7 billion, up ten per cent, and ebitda (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) of £458 million, up 15 per cent.

Goodbody's Gavin Kelleher said the results announcement gave an opportunity for the firm to outline how they planned to improve the performance of their European online division.

"While we do not expect any immediate acceleration in growth rates, new product should help revenue growth trends throughout 2018," he added.

Kelleher said Paddy Power Betfair were better positioned than rivals Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill to weather the effect of a major cut in FOBT stakes following the government's review.

They are also well placed in the United States, where a Supreme Court decision on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 which could result in the legalisation of sports betting in a number of states is expected in the next few months, and in Australia through their Sportsbet brand.

Kelleher said: "The Australian business remains in good shape, and better positioned than peers to weather the taxation headwinds the market faces.

"The group's well-positioned UK estate is better placed than any other operator to mitigate likely machine changes.

"The US business remains small from a group context but represents excellent optionality should PASPA be repealed."

Sportsbet is also reportedly one of the two operators duelling to buy William Hill's Australian arm.

The other is Crownbet, in which Canadian gaming company The Stars Group bought a majority stake this week.

Ladbrokes Coral and bet365 had been mentioned as two other contenders but appear to have dropped out of the race.

GVC Holdings, who are set to take over Ladbrokes Coral, are due to publish their final results for 2017 on Friday.

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The group's well-positioned UK estate is better placed than any other operator to mitigate likely machine changes
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