Bookmaker Has the Luck of The Irish
By Miriam H
Irish bookmaker and Internet gaming giant Paddy Power has reported a 52 percent rise in its annual pre-tax profit.

Pre-tax profit rose to €47.6 million in the 12 months to the end of December, higher than average forecasts of just under €44 million. Sales rose 31 percent to nearly €1.8 billion while operating profit rose 51 percent to €45.5 million.

'2006 has been an exceptional year for Paddy Power, with very strong growth in each of our businesses...(we are) well for continued success in 2007 and beyond,' said chief executive Patrick Kennedy.

Over 50 percent of Paddy Power's operating profit came from Internet gambling, the group confirmed, proving that the company’s strength was not comprised as a result of US anti-gambling laws.

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