29 August 2012 10:16
A high-profile advertising campaign during this summer's Euro 2012 football tournament saw profits at bookmaker Paddy Power rise 21% for the half year.
The bookie took £61.9 million in bets on Euro 2012 alone, helped by PR stunts such as its 100ft-high statue modelled on Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer with England manager Roy Hodgson's face.
It also responded to Uefa's banning of vuvuzelas by building a giant working 'vuvutruck' and drew more media coverage when the Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner revealed the logo of the company on his pants while celebrating a goal in a group game.
The company said: "Every two years a major football tournament presents a great opportunity to showcase the Paddy Power offer, which we fully exploited during Euro 2012."
Pre-tax profits rose to £54.5 million in the six months to June 30th, up from £44.6 million a year earlier.
The company continued to invest in its online business, launching into the Italian online market in May – where it said it had already achieved a 4% share of the online sports betting market.
It is also tapping further into demand for smartphone-based betting, with mobile games now accounting for a fifth of total games revenue.
Despite the growth of its mobile and internet ventures, Paddy Power is continuing to expand its betting shop presence, opening another 20 UK shops in the first half and aiming for up to 40 in the full year.