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Paddy Power Rises After Record Pre-tax Profit: Dublin Mover

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March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Paddy Power Plc, Ireland’s largest bookmaker, increased the most in more than two months in Dublin trading after posting a record pre-tax profit last year and saying it had a “strong” start to the year.

Paddy Power gained as much as 3 percent in intraday trading to 66 euros, the most since Dec. 20, after the Dublin-based bookmaker said pre-tax profit increased 15 percent to 139.2 million euros ($181.4 million) last year. Total net revenue in first two months of the year on a constant currency basis rose 34 percent from the year-earlier period, the company said today.

Goodbody Stockbrokers’s analyst Gavin Kelleher said in a note today the Dublin-based broker will likely increase its full-year estimate for the company's 2013 earnings per share by 4 percent. Paddy Power continues to have “significant growth potential in the medium term,” he said.

Paddy Power is boosting profit by increasing its number of active online customers, with three-quarters of profit last year coming from online.

The stock has climbed 5.3 percent this year, giving the bookmaker a market valuation of 3.2 billion euros. Trading in the stock was 1.5 times the three-month average at about 162,000 shares in Dublin today.

Paddy Power traded 1.73 euros, or 2.7 percent, higher at 65.83 euros as of 11:10 a.m. in Dublin.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Finbarr Flynn at fflynn3@bloomberg.net

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