Boost in Australia and US revenue helps drive growth at Paddy Power Betfair
Shares in Paddy Power Betfair fell sharply on Thursday despite the company reporting 17 per cent growth in first quarter revenues to £478 million, driven by "excellent growth" in Australia and the United States.
"Customer-friendly" sports results in the first quarter of the year hit the bookmaker's online division.
The acquisition of Georgian operator Adjarabet meant that online revenue increased by four per cent to £228m.
However, excluding Adjarabet, online revenue fell by one per cent due to unfavourable sports results, primarily in horseracing in February and football in March.
The company also reported that revenues were affected by the suspension of British horseracing in February due to the equine flu outbreak.
In retail revenue was down two per cent to £77m, with two per cent growth in gaming machines offset by a five per cent decrease in sports revenues.
Paddy Power Betfair chief executive Peter Jackson said the first quarter was a good one for the group, "notwithstanding customer-friendly sports results in the UK".
He added: "Underlying momentum remains good for Paddy Power with 22 per cent growth in average daily actives. For Betfair, we continue to make good progress on the technology development work to enhance our global customer propositions which will enable us to accelerate international growth."
Jackson said: "In Australia, Sportsbet delivered a very strong quarter. As we anticipated, our ongoing investment in customer value and the recent tax increases are strengthening Sportsbet's competitive positioning.
"In the US, FanDuel Group is making huge progress, with our unique proposition of brand, product offering, existing fantasy customer base, US market experience and global sports betting expertise driving a first quarter New Jersey sports betting market share of 50 per cent."
Jackson said the full-year profit outlook remained in line with expectations, adding: "We remain excited about the growth opportunities that lie ahead for the group."
Analysts at Goodbody described Paddy Power Betfair's results as "another solid update", adding: "In the group's well-established businesses outside the US, there is evidence that the group is taking share, particularly in Australia and in European online gaming."
However, the firm's share price more than lost the previous day's gains, falling 5.4 per cent to 6,400p on Thursday.
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