Smartphone gambling lifts bookies’ profits

 
Oliver Smith
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THE RISE of mobile and online gambling lifted the profits of two online gaming companies yesterday.

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power reported a rise in pre-tax profits of 12 per cent for the first half of the year on the back of its online business.

The group’s profits reached €77m (£66.4m), up from €68.7m in 2012, with mobile and online business accounting for over 43 per cent of the company’s revenue of €380m.

Paddy Power has been a market leader in online and mobile gambling, a field that finance chief Cormac McCarthy told City A.M. he expects will only grow. “We think mobile is very significant, especially in the next four or five years. We think the mobile and tablet market has the potential to grow to £4-5bn.”

While Paddy Power’s UK retail business grew only four per cent in the same time, McCarthy said he still believes retail is a good investment for the company. “We’ve opened 20 new UK shops in the first half of the year… We still see plenty of growth in retail,” he said.

British gambling company 888 Holdings reported a 36 per cent rise in profits of $38.1m (£24.5m) yesterday, aided by its fast growing mobile revenues in the UK and Europe.

Mobile accounted for 17 per cent of the group’s revenue of $200.1m.

888 chief Brian Mattingley said the results show “good progress in new markets with tremendous success in Spain and Italy where we see further opportunities for growth”.