Paddy Power targets France

City A.M. Reporter
IRISH bookmaker Paddy Power will move into the French online sports betting market and said it remained on track to meet market consensus for full-year profits yesterday.<br /><br />Ireland&rsquo;s biggest bookie agreed a five-year outsourcing deal to provide betting technology and pricing for French horse racing operator Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU), the largest betting organisation in Europe with &euro;9.3bn (&pound;8.3bn) of turnover in 2008.<br /><br />&ldquo;This deal opens other doors for Paddy Power to do further business-to-business deals across Europe as regulatory and tax models come to the fore,&rdquo; Davy Stockbrokers analyst David Jennings wrote, calling it a massive catalyst for the stock.<br /><br />The PMU deal, to start in May or June next year, will add around &euro;3 to &euro;5m in revenue by 2012 and open up similar potential moves, said finance director Jack Massey.<br /><br />&ldquo;The strength of the deal is the quality of the partner which gives us an excellent calling card of other such opportunities that may emerge,&rdquo; Massey added.<br /><br />Breon Corcoran, managing director non-retail and development, added the company expected to expand further through outsourcing deals and local partnerships as a number of regulatory markets open up over the next three to five years.<br /><br />The bookmaker, which expanded into the Australian market earlier this year, said the latest deal would create 50 jobs at its Dublin headquarters by June 2010, with 200 additional jobs expected in the subsequent three years.<br /><br />Paddy Power forecast it would meet market consensus for 2009 adjusted diluted earnings per share of around 113 cents -- down from 140.5 cents last year.