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Paddy Power Betfair share price: Group updates investors on FY performance

Paddy Power Betfair (LON:PPB) has updated investors on its full-year performance this morning.

**Highlights from the company statement:**
Business Review
The completion of the merger on 2 February 2016 created a Group with leading positions in the largest regulated online markets as well as an increasing exposure to a number of other international markets. The Group has leading, differentiated sports betting products, a portfolio of distinctive, complementary sports-led brands, and significant in-house technology and marketing capabilities.

Proforma financial performance1
For statutory purposes the Group reported a loss of £5.7m which is primarily due to expenses relating to the merger that have been recognised as separately disclosed items. In addition, the statutory results only reflect the contribution from the Betfair business from the merger completion date. Accordingly, underlying proforma results have been presented in this Business Review as this best reflects the performance of the Group. A reconciliation between the statutory and underlying proforma financials is included on page 18.

The Group maintained good trading momentum during a year of considerable operational change. Revenue was up 18% to £1,551m (2015: £1,318m), with good performances across all four operating divisions. This, combined with efficiencies arising from the integration of the businesses and continued operating leverage, resulted in a 35% increase in underlying EBITDA2,3 to £400m (2015: £296m).
Integration and delivery of cost synergies
Our key focus in 2016 was on integrating the legacy businesses to achieve an optimal operational structure, to create a distinct corporate culture and identity, and to realise cost synergies.
The integration progressed ahead of schedule and the key integration actions and operational changes required to realise the cost synergies are now complete. Therefore, from the 2017 financial year, we will benefit from total cost synergies of £65m per annum (£35m benefit in 2016). The one-off implementation cost to achieve the synergies was £66m and was fully incurred in 2016.
Strategic update
The merger of two strong businesses provided an opportunity to create an even stronger Group by (i) capitalising on our enhanced scale, (ii) combining the best people, assets and practices from each business, and (iii) optimising the positioning of our two main brands. Over the last six months, we have made good progress in each of these areas and have also developed technology and product strategies that we believe best position us for long term success.

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