Paddy Power Betfair touted "huge progress" in the developing US market and a strong first quarter for its established Australian business as revenue rose by 17% despite sports results favouring gamblers. 

The Dublin-based group merged its US business with fantasy sports company FanDuel last year to target a market set to open up in the coming years. 

It said today that had resulted in a 47% jump in US revenue for the three months to March 31, accounting for just over 15% of group sales.

Its Australian Sportsbet brand delivered revenue growth of 20% as the group's decision to increase investment in response to tax increases paid off. 

More modest growth of 4% in its main European business was driven exclusively by its recent acquisition of Georgian gaming company Adjarabet. 

"In the US, FanDuel Group is making huge progress," Paddy Power Betfair's chief executive Peter Jackson said in a statement noting a New Jersey sports betting market share of 50%. 

"FanDuel remains well positioned to generate good returns on ongoing sports betting investment and for the rest of the group we remain on track to meet our full year profit expectations despite the adverse sports results in Q1," he said.

Davy Stockbrokers estimated that the unfavourable soccer and horse racing results would have impacted first quarter profits by about £14m before any recycling of winnings but that the underlying momentum appeared better than anticipated. 

"As each long-anticipated regulatory change is implemented, the Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) investment thesis is becoming more straightforward," analysts at Davy wrote in a note, referring to the increasing cost of regulation in established markets.

"The group and sector are not out of the woods. Yet, for the first period in some time, performance appears more balanced between those divisions reflecting the group's underlying growth prospects (in the US and increasingly Australia) and those still hampered by either external and/or internal challenges (Europe and retail)," the stockbrokers added. 

CEO Peter Jackson said that the company's trading in April has been in line with the company's expectations. 

"We remain on track to meet our full year profit expectations despite the adverse sports results in Q1. We remain excited about the growth opportunities that lie ahead for the group," he added.

The company has announced its intention to rename as Flutter Entertainment, subject to shareholder approval, at its upcoming AGM in May.