Paddy Power hails stellar 2015 results, tests indestructible betting slips

paddy-power-fabric-betting-slipsIrish betting operator Paddy Power is predicting its full year 2015 profit will come in around €180m before exceptional items.

In its last trading update before the company completes its merger with UK rival Betfair on Feb. 2, Paddy Power said it expects FY15 profits to be up nearly 10% from 2014, as trading over the final seven weeks of 2015 was “good.” Geez, don’t spare the adjectives, guys.

Stripping away costs associated with the two companies shacking up, Paddy says it expects earnings per share to come in at €3.33. Paddy declared a final dividend of €1.20 per share, bringing last year’s total dividend to €1.80 per share. Betfair, meanwhile, announced a closing dividend of 24.3p per share.

The merger received its final approval from Ireland’s competition watchdogs on Jan. 15, based on the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s belief that the deal wouldn’t “substantially lessen competition in any market for goods or services.”

The merger will be finalized nearly two months ahead of the March timeline the companies set when the merger was first announced last August. The merger creates a nearly €10b behemoth that Nomura analyst Richard Stuber has estimated will control roughly 18% of the UK online gambling market, ahead of William Hill’s 15%.

Meanwhile, Paddy’s irrepressible marketing department has come up with a plan to help its bettors avoid the fate of lottery players who accidentally wash their £33m winning tickets. The company says it has been testing a “fabric-like’ material it will use for betting slips at its retail shops.

The new slips can reportedly be washed, dried and even ironed without erasing the imprinted info. Paddy’s head of product and innovation Dave Hammond said the slips would be tested at its London King’s Cross shop and, assuming the test goes well, could be rolled out across the company’s high street presence.

The firm’s eponymous spokesman celebrated the firm’s “Bold move” (capitalization in the original), which is intended to ensure its punters “come out feeling high and dry, not low and wet.”