PADDY POWER paid out nearly €1 million in bonuses to executive directors last year, despite the company suffering a 15% fall in pre-tax profit and an 8% reversal in operating profits.
An annual bonus of €500,000 on top of a salary of €678,000 contributed to chief executive Patrick Kennedy’s total remuneration going from €1.39m in 2008 to €1.42m last year. Finance director Jack Massey’s package was up marginally at €555,000 but he received a bonus of €168,000. Managing director of non-retail activities Breon Corcoran received a bonus payment of €280,000, which pushed up his total package by €8,000 to €827,000.
Despite the disappointing nature of the company’s results, management described 2009 as a year of development and evolution and said that profits would be boosted by its growing international presence in Britain, Australia and France. Paddy Power will hold its annual general meeting next month.
Meanwhile, the company has been tipped to be one of the main beneficiaries of the increase in popularity of online betting.
Merrion Stockbrokers has upgraded its recommendation for the company to ‘buy’ on the back of its survey of online betting enthusiasts, which showed Paddy Power as the company with whom they’re most likely to open a new account and the company second most likely (behind Betfair) to benefit from an increase in online spend from punters.
“Our survey indicates that having a value proposition is the key to growing market share in the online betting industry. For Paddy Power, we are very encouraged by the responses to our survey and what they indicate for the future growth prospects of its online business,” said Merrion analyst Killian Jones.
He added: “Paddy Power’s online division looks set to continue growing over the coming years and this should give its Australian and British retail businesses the necessary time to become meaningful future drivers of group earnings.”
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