Bookmaker Paddy Power today said a host of sporting upsets had cost punters but left the firm on course for forecast-beating profits this year.
The company gained from favourable racing results including Comply or Die’s Grand National win as well as an FA Cup competition strewn with giant-killings.
Paddy Power also banked big gains from favourite Tiger Woods’ second place at the US Masters golf tournament to 130-1 outsider Trevor Immelman in April.
The healthy start to the year will leave 2008 operating profits around 14% higher at €82m and 8% higher than market hopes, the company said.
The forecast comes despite the pound’s weakness against the euro hitting operating profits by €5m if exchange rates remain at current levels for the rest of the year.
“This will be more than offset by the benefit of the favourable momentum and sporting results to date,” Paddy Power added.