Paddy Power profits down

Wagering levels and number of players are up, but operating profits lower.

The online operations of the Irish betting group Paddy Power, which contribute most of the group's profit, performed well in the first half of 2009, reporting a 20 percent increase in active customers and a 23 percent rise in amounts wagered.

Unfortunately, that was not enough to stave off a decline in the group's operating profit of 23 percent, taking it down to Euro 33.5 million - a downward trend which CEO Patrick Kennedy attributed to "a swing in the year-on-year run of sporting results - a normal occupational hazard for bookmakers."

Despite the decline, Kennedy said the company remained on track to meet its full year targets, aided by buoyant trading and the postponement of the Irish government's plans to introduce a higher tax on gambling.

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