addy Power chief executive Patrick Kennedy said the company's "strong home-grown expertise" had opened doors to markets in the UK, Australia and France. The company employs 725 people at its head office in Tallaght.
Apart from the jobs, Kennedy said the Irish exchequer would benefit from the group's corporation tax payments, which yielded 41 million euros for the State's coffers last year, while a proposed internet tax would provide a further boost.
The company made the jobs announcement as it upped its profit guidance yesterday and said that its business here performed in line with expectations during the past four months even as economic conditions became "more challenging". The Irish market accounts for about one-third of Paddy Power's operating profit.
Paddy Power said that the total amount staked by punters in its retail outlets in Ireland during the period from July 1 to November 15 declined 5 %, while on a like-for-like basis the figure was down 8 %. However, the all-important gross win was 9% higher. Davy Stockbrokers had been expecting a flat return for the period.
Irish gamblers wagered 476 million euros in Paddy Power outlets here in the first six months of this year, which was unchanged year-on-year, while in 2009 they bet more than 949 million euros in Paddy Power stores.
In an interim management statement, the company upgraded its guidance and said that it expected underlying earnings per share growth in the current year of between 35% and 40%. That's ahead of the 30 % growth that had previously been expected.
In the UK, the amount staked at Paddy Power outlets rose 1pc on a like-for-like basis, while the total gross win was up 17 %. The group's overall online business, excluding internet operations in Australia, recorded a 34 % rise in the amount staked during the period, while the gross win was 33 % higher. In its Australian internet business, the total amount staked was up 6% and the gross online win was 70 % higher.
The Australian federal court has also reversed a decision made in favour of Paddy Power's Sportsbet subsidiary that had originally ruled that a 1.5 % turnover-based "race fields" fee levied by authorities in New South Wales was protectionist and invalid. Sportsbet has been ordered to pay a "seven-figure sum" in costs, according to the group.
Analyst David Jennings at Davy Stockbrokers said that he won't be increasing his 2011 estimates for Paddy Power in light of an "uncertain economic backdrop", particularly in Ireland. However, he said the group remained his "top pick" in the sector, with a fair value on the stock of 36.20 euros. Shares in Paddy Power closed flat at 28.90 euros Tuesday in Dublin.