Paddy Power Betfair Shares Take a Hit As Chief Exec Announces Departure

Paddy Power Betfair chief executive Breon Corcoran has announced he’s leaving the company following the company’s recent financial report.

Breon Corcoran Paddy Power Betfair.

Paddy Power Betfair’s shares take a hit following news of slower growth and the departure of chief executive Breon Corcoran. (Image: rte.ie)

According to a revenue report released on August 8, total revenue of £827 million in the six months to July 31 represented a 9 percent growth rate. Despite being better than a loss, the increase was half that of the 18 percent growth recorded in the first half of 2017.

Revenue Strong But Not Strong Enough

On top of the slowdown in growth, £40 million of the recent haul was due to the weakness of the pound following the Brexit vote. This currency shift helped superficially improve overseas revenue and flatter what the market has seen as an otherwise poor result.

This performance, in addition to news of Corcoran’s impending departure, caused the operator’s FTSE 100 share price to drop by 4.7 percent.

However, despite the market reacting negatively to the latest set of financials, Paddy Power Betfair executives remain positive. Revenue in the first quarter of 2017 was up by 23 percent and it was only a drop in Q2 that hurt the company’s overall figure.

Less Action and Poor Results Hurt

Indeed, in 2016 the European Championships buoyed the company’s sports betting revenue while a string of heavy losses on the Grand National and US Masters in 2017 contributed to a growth rate of just 2 percent in Q2.

Ahead of his exit, Corcoran explained that Paddy Power Betfair has ramped up its spending on promotional offers in a bid to engaging customers and drive up revenue for the rest of the year.

“Our customers and shareholders are already seeing benefits from efficiencies and investments. In the first half alone, customers enjoyed approximately £30m of extra value through better odds, more generous offers and new loyalty benefits,” Corcoran said in an official statement.

At this stage, Corcoran hasn’t said when his 16-year tenure with the company will come to an end. As well as leading Paddy Power through its rise in the online betting world, he was instrumental in its £5 billion merger with Betfair in 2015.

When Corcoran does finally retire, Peter Jackson will step into his shoes. Already a non-executive director at the company, Jackson will take over in “due course” and look to continue the strategy outlined by Corcoran, said a spokesperson for Paddy Power Betfair.

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