PADDY Power has seen profits slump by 20 per cent in the first half of the year as football and racing punters took the Irish bookmaker to the cleaners.

The Dublin group said pre-tax profits fell to 61.8 million euros (£49.2m) in the six months to June 30 because favourites won Premier League football matches in January and March, while racing punters backed winners at the Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot. Revenues slipped seven per cent to 396.5 million euros (£315.7m), compared to a year ago.

The group, which has 305 shops in the UK, said it had a good World Cup and also increased online customers.

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