Bookmaker Paddy Power has reported a 15% increase in pre-tax profits for last year and said it was looking forward to 2013 and beyond with confidence.
Profits before tax for the year to the end of December came to €139.2m, while annual revenues grew by 25% to €5.7 billion.
Paddy Power's chief executive Patrick Kennedy said the group now has nearly twice as many online users as it has in 2010 as mobile gaming has been adopted across its markets.
Its online profits grew by 8% to €102m last year. Active customers of 1.6 million increased by 44% compared to 2011 levels. Paddy Power said that mobile revenue rose by 185% in constant currency terms.
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The company said its retail profits increased by 39% last year with the benefits of improved sports results, new openings and product development more than offsetting weak economic conditions and more weather related racing cancellations.
During the year the company also expanded its social media activities and opened three new shops in Ireland and 44 new shops in the UK. It also increased its headcount by 20% to total 3,767 by the end of the year.
The company said that its Irish retail operating profit rose by 32% to €14.4m, driven by the ''normalisation'' of sports results and a ''complete reversal of fortunes for Irish trading horses in Cheltenham in 2012 compared to 2011''. It added that like-for-like net revenue increased by 7% while stakes were down 2%.
It said its UK retail like for like net revenue rose by 7% while operating profits soared 46% to €15.3m for the year.
The company now has operations in Ireland, the UK, Australia and Italy. It also has business to business clients in France and Canada. It said its customers outside Ireland accounted for 74% of total operating profit last year.
In its results statement today, the company said that the European Championships in Poland last year went well for Paddy Power, with the group taking stakes of €78m and gross win of €7.6m. Last summer's London Olympics were also a big success for the company.
Total dividend for 2012 up 20%
The board has proposed a 16% increase in the final dividend to 81 cent per share. This brings the total dividend for 2012 to 120 cent per share, up 20% on the dividend in 2011.
Paddy Power, which has entered betting markets in Australia, France, Canada and most recently Italy, said trading since the end of last year had benefited from favourable sports results with revenues up 19%. That mirrored UK rival William Hill, which saw revenue rise by 20% in the first two months on favourable results as it paid £424m for full control of its online business.
''This has been another strong year for Paddy Power. Our turnover grew by 25% to €5.7 billion as payback from ongoing investment continued to deliver growth across the group,'' commented Paddy Power's chief executive Patrick Kennedy.
Mr Kennedy said that the company's online operations is going from strength to strength. ''The adoption of mobile across our markets, combined with our e-commerce capabilities, technology and brand, means we now have nearly twice as many active online customers than we had in 2010'', he said.
The company's results statement noted that only 9% of the €333 billion global gambling market is currently online, and it said it expects smartphones, tablet computers, social media and migration from retail to continue to drive strong online market growth.
The company's chief executive said that it is well positioned in ''growing and attractive markets''. ''We have made significant investment in our brand, operational capabilities and people. These investments are paying back strongly and we expect that this will continue,'' Patrick Kennedy said.
''Underlying this, a strong balance sheet gives us further opportunities to create value for shareholders. We look forward to 2013 and beyond with confidence,'' he added.