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Euro 2012 boost Paddy Power's coffers

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has reported a rise in half-year profits thanks to an aggressive marketing strategy during the Euro 2012 football tournament as welln as an accelerated growth in online gaming.

Pre-tax profit increased by 21% to 68.7m euros with revenue up 29% to 311m euros from last year.

"This has been a very strong first half for Paddy Power. Revenue growth in our existing businesses has accelerated with a 29% increase and each of the divisions achieving double digit growth," said chief executive Patrick Kennedy.

"We strongly promoted our brand, products and money-back specials during Euro 2012. This contributed to a 50% increase in online customer acquisition for the half year," he added.

"We are confident in the group's prospects for the rest of the year and beyond."

The Irish bookmaker's expansion into Italy has helped gain a 4% share on the online betting market there in the first full month of operation, it said.

In Australia, where it entered the market in 2010 after acquiring Sportsbet, operating profit rose by 35% from a year ago to 13.2m euros.

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