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Business briefing: Paddy Power takes Flutter on new name as profits dip

PADDY Power Betfair has unveiled plans to change its group name as it posted an 11 per cent fall in annual profits.

The gambling giant said it would be seeking shareholder approval at its annual meeting in May for a change to Flutter Entertainment to reflect the ‘increasing diversity’ of the business.

Details of the proposal came as it reported pre-tax profits of £219million, down from £247million in 2017.

Although its revenues rose 7.3 per cent to £1.87billion, profits were hit by £24million of spending on its fledgling US division as it looked to cash in on the newly opened sports betting market. Underlying earnings remained flat at £475million. Chief executive Peter Jackson said the group had ‘regained its mojo’ after beginning to regain its market share in the UK last year, following years of losing.

But he added that it had been a ‘challenging year for the sector with regulatory and tax changes’.

On the name change, he said: ‘With a growing portfolio of brands, we plan to rename the group as Flutter Entertainment plc. There are no plans to use this historical name for consumers.’

The group added the new £2 stake limit for fixed-odds betting terminals from April 1 will not have a material impact on its sports-led retail strategy.

Leaf or remain, sales of British tea are soaring

Nice little urner: Tregothnan Estate’s Jonathan Jones says business is booming due to Brexit turmoil and nationalism PICTURE: SWNS

THE only tea grower in Britain says it has brewed up stronger sales since the Brexit vote as the nation keeps calm and has a nice cup of tea.

Tea sales at Tregothnan Estate in Cornwall have risen by a third in the last two years and the company is selling twice as much of its most popular brew — the breakfast tea — and 300 per cent more chamomile.

‘It does not matter if you are a Remainer or a Brexiteer, it is a great way to come together for a cup of tea and stay calm in times of crisis,’ said plantation manager Jonathon Jones.

Brexit has also raised awareness of our strengths, and shoppers are buying into ‘plucky Britishness’, he added.

Price of happiness for women ‘is £5m’

ONE in ten women would need at least £5million in the bank to feel wealthy, a study finds. When considering finances, half of millennial women said achieving wealth was their biggest goal — but only a third aged between 35 and 54 agree. Eighty three per cent said it would provide for their family, with 77 per cent saying wealth gave them choice. ‘Women are a force to be reckoned with; by 2025 we will hold over 60 per cent of the UK’s wealth,’ said Tamara Gillan, of the WealthiHer network, which launches tomorrow on International Women’s Day.

BUSINESS BITES

■ WORKERS with few qualifications are less likely to be out of work in the south. Aldershot and Exeter had the lowest jobless rate, while Dundee and Birmingham were among the highest, reports Centre for Cities.

■ A NEW online tool could stop house sales collapsing over issues spotted after an offer is made, the firm behind it says. PropScore gives buyers a free rating of homes, including local crime rates and insurance risks.

■ JUST EAT has posted a sharp rise in revenues and profits as it targets £1billion in sales this year. The online food firm said revenue soared 43 per cent in 2018 to £779.5million, fired by strong growth in the UK and Canada.

■ LEGAL & General has become the UK’s first £1trillion investment manager. The group said it followed a spate of infrastructure deals last year — along with ones in clean energy, commercial and residential property.

■ OFF-SHORE wind could provide a third of Britain’s electricity by 2030. The prediction was made by the government as it announced a £250million investment in the turbine industry to encourage more exports.