Paddy Power wins with profits surge

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The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power grew profits by more than half last year, boosted by a strong UK performance and winning on England's draws in the football World Cup. The high-street chain posted pre-tax profits up by 55 per cent to €104.2m and more than doubled its net cash to €159m for the year to 31 December.

Patrick Kennedy, its chief executive, said: "These are record results for Paddy Power." It toasted almost a six-fold rise in UK retail operating profit to €7.4m, aided by online and its high street shops, as well as England's draws against Algeria and the US in last year's football tournament.