Paddy Power Betfair has reported a four per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £106m for the first half of the year, after a positive period both before and during the World Cup.

Paddy Power Betfair

Shrugging off the forthcoming £2 stake limit on FOBTs, which the company said it does not expect will “have a material impact on our retail strategy”, Paddy Power Betfair said its shops are more profitable and outperform on sports betting, enabling them to “withstand the impact of lower machine stake limits”. New store openings will continue to be targeted, the firm stated.

Overall, revenue was up in H1 2018 to £867m (H1 2017: £827m) thanks to Q2, which produced a rise of 13 per cent, including nine per cent in the period before the World Cup.

Online revenue was up 13 per cent, with sports 12 per cent and gaming 14 per cent. Revenue was up in Australia (19 per cent), in retail (six per cent) and in the US (20 per cent), where the company bought FanDuel.

With H2 starting off in line with expectations, Paddy Power Betfair is looking at generating between £460m and £480m over the full year.

Peter Jackson, CEO at Paddy Power Betfair, said: “We have made substantial progress against our strategic priorities and trading in Q2 was good, with all brands and operating divisions contributing to the Group's double-digit revenue growth.

‘We now have much better visibility of the regulatory and fiscal changes in the UK, Australia and the USA, and believe that our scale, leading customer propositions and strong balance sheet mean we are well positioned to build a business that can generate sustainable shareholder returns over the long term."