Bookie beats the odds to be a winner

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POOR results for English teams in this season’s Champions League have helped bookie Paddy Power fight back from a summer plagued by horse racing cancellations and the distraction of the Olympics.

Its better than expected gross win over recent weeks also reflected 19-1 shot, Green Moon’s win in this month’s Melbourne Cup.

The Dublin-based group described conditions on the high street as competitive but said it now expects to open 45 shops this year, compared with previous plans for between 35 and 40.

Its 200-strong UK shop estate achieved revenues growth of 5 per cent on a like-for-like basis in the period since July 1, helped by 12 per cent growth in its sportsbook as more results went in its favour, boosting the gross win.

As well as losing bets on England’s Champions League teams, underdog Norwich’s 1-0 win over Arsenal last month was a big result after accumulators were built up on seven Premier League favourites earlier that day.

The amounts staked by punters was up 9 per cent in Paddy Power shops, although it also reported a 4 per cent drop in revenues from gaming machines.

Across the group, net revenues were 23 per cent higher between July and mid-November, with trading in Australia particularly strong and its online operation also seeing strong demand.

The improvement came despite the impact of a number of external factors, such as weather-related horse racing cancellations and the Olympics. The company’s half-year profits rose 21 per cent in August.