PaddyPower Betfair wants to change its name to Flutter Entertainment

PaddyPower Betfair has revealed plans to change its name to Flutter Entertainment, if shareholders give their approval, and reported rising revenues but a dip in profits for last year.

The bookmaker said the name change would reflect “the increased diversity of our brands and operations”, but chief executive Peter Jackson said: “There are no plans to use this historical name for consumers.”

Meanwhile, revenue was up 9 per cent, from £1.75bn to £1.87bn, while pre-tax profit dropped 11 per cent from £247m to £219m.

The group said earnings were lower due to investments made in the US, and the dividend was unchanged.

The firm also said the new £2 stake limit for controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which comes into effect next month, will not have a material impact on its sports-led retail strategy.

Earlier this week, William Hill reported a loss of £720m for last year, blaming the fallout from the new FOBT rules, while Ladbrokes repeated its warning that it could be forced to close 1,000 branches due to loss of earnings from the regulatory change.

However, PaddyPower said the rule changes highlighted “the importance of having sustainable earnings streams, something the group has always been committed to”.

The group added that 2019 had started on track with its expectations.

Results showed that UK and Ireland revenues across its 626-strong estate of betting shops fell 1 per cent and underlying earnings dropped 19 per cent to £51m.

However, online revenues rose 11 per cent compared with just 1 per cent in 2017.

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