Paddy Power’s acquisition of online betting company, Betfair, took its toll on the group’s interim figures, resulting in a pre-tax loss of £49.3m in the six months to 30 June. Paddy Power turned a profit of £106.2m the year prior.
The deal between the two gaming companies, which was finalised in February 2016, created the largest gambling company in the UK by some measure.
Notwithstanding £195m in merger costs during the period, the group’s revenue was up 18% to £759m, which includes double-digit growth in its retail, online, US and Australia divisions.
Underlying profit of the newly combined entity was £148m, an increase of 39%.
The Irish bookmaker said that post-merger it expects to realise ongoing cost synergies of £65m per annum by 2017. This estimate exceeds the initial £50m target set by the group and will be achieved a year earlier.
Chief executive Breon Corcoran said that the integration of the legacy businesses was progressing ahead of schedule and had caused minimal disruption to the group’s momentum during primary trading events like Euro 2016 and Cheltenham races.
Corcoran added that current growth is in line with the group’s expectations for the second half of the year, despite regulatory pressures and a competitive market.
“Our industry remains highly competitive and exposed to external factors including the economic and regulatory environment. However, our scale, market positions and leading capabilities position us well for sustainable profitable growth and we look forward to the future with confidence,” he remarked.