Paddy Power joined the line-up of betting operators hit by unfavourable sporting results

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Ireland\’s largest bookmaker says it expects a 57 percent jump in annual profits, far below the first half increase of 158%.

“While the business has continued to demonstrate strong turnover growth in the second half, unfavourable sporting results over the fourth quarter, particularly in the busy December period, have adversely affected the gross margin for the year,” Paddy Power said in a statement.

However, the bookmaker said its business had continued to develop well in the second six months across all channels, in line with the company\’s objectives, and was well positioned for 2005.