March 7, 2018 / 7:12 AM / 2 months ago

BRIEF-Paddy Power Betfair ‍FY earnings up 18 pct, beats guidance

March 7 (Reuters) - Paddy Power Betfair Plc:

* ‍UNDERLYING EBITDA UP 18% TO £473M, HIGHER THAN OUR PREVIOUS GUIDANCE RANGE​

* ‍FINAL DIVIDEND OF 135P PER SHARE, RESULTING IN TOTAL DIVIDENDS FOR YEAR UP 21 PERCENT​

* ‍CONTINUED STRONG CASH GENERATION, WITH UNDERLYING FREE CASH FLOW UP 57% TO £395M​

* ‍EUROPEAN PLATFORM INTEGRATION COMPLETED IN JANUARY 2018 AND RESOURCES NOW FOCUSED ON DEVELOPING CUSTOMER FACING PRODUCTS​

* ‍TARGETING LEVERAGE OF BETWEEN 1X AND 2X NET DEBT TO EBITDA IN MEDIUM TERM TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY OF GROUP’S CAPITAL STRUCTURE​

* ‍ADDITIONAL C.£20M INVESTMENT IN MARKETING AND CUSTOMER PROPOSITION PLANNED IN 2018 TO BOOST PADDY POWER BRAND IN UK, BETFAIR IN INTERNATIONAL MARKETS​

* ‍NEW FINANCIAL YEAR HAS STARTED AS 2017 ENDED, WITH SPORTING RESULTS FAVOURING BOOKMAKERS​

* ‍SUSTAINED PERIOD OF BOOKMAKER FRIENDLY RESULTS HAS, HOWEVER, SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECTED CUSTOMER ACTIVITY​ Further company coverage: (Reporting By Padraic Halpin)

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