Paddy Power today reported an increase in operating profit of 19% to €163.8m, ahead of analysts’ expectations.
The Irish bookmaker also announced that it will return €392m to shareholders, which equates to €8 per share, in addition to increasing its full year dividend by 13%.
Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at Finspreads.com, said the profit announcement was "evidence that their current strategy has served them well and this has not gone amiss by investors.
"Paddy Power has comfortably been one of the top performing stocks in Europe over the last five month with shares increasing a further 8% in early trading this morning as investors continue to be impressed.
"2015 has also set off on the right foot for the bookmaker with sportsbook stakes up 18% online and 8% year-on-year in shops.
"Going forward, the strategy set out by new chief executive Andy McCue looks solid and with this in mind another strong year looks like a realistic possibility."