In spite of adverse sports results in the second half of the year, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power unveiled record annual profits as revenues grew in every division.
Net revenue jumped 17% to €745m and pre-tax profit gained 5% to €141m, boosted by strong online and mobile performance.
Chief Executive Patrick Kennedy said: "2013 was another good year for Paddy Power, with growth in every division and particularly strong growth in online which now delivers over three quarters of group profits."
As active online customer numbers increased 19% to 1.9m, online sales advanced 21% to €473m and operating profits 10% to €108m
Kennedy added that the group continues to build out its industry-leading penetration in mobile sports betting and eGaming, with mobile net revenue powering ahead by 73% in 2013 and now accounting for over half of total online revenue.
"Investment in mobile will continue to be significant in order to take advantage of our market leading position and avail of its exceptional growth potential," he said.
In bricks and mortar retail, Paddy Power opened a record 67 new betting shops and now has over 500 units. In new geographies, the group steadily grew revenues in Italy, and signed a new B2B contract with Niké, the largest retail and online operator in Slovakia.
The full-year dividend has been lifted 13% to 135 euro cents, with a proposed 11% increase in the final payment to 90 cents.
Kennedy said the new financial year had started well from a turnover point of view with sportsbook stakes up 16%, although sports results had been mixed.
"We're strongly positioned to benefit from the growth 'hot spots' in our markets and are investing accordingly. As a consequence, we look forward to 2014 and beyond with confidence."
Broker Numis noted that "sporting results, FX and revenue investment in developing the business took the shine off the bottom line but we believe these pressures will reduce".
"Paddy's recent offers on the [Oscar] Pistorius trial has been getting media attention - which is, of course, the point. 12% of Paddy's customer acquisition is through social media and such customers are, on average, worth twice the average. Paddy has more than 2m Facebook fans and Twitter followers."
Numis said it believed the business continued to deliver attractive underlying growth, both in the core business and, particularly in developing markets in Australia and Italy, and reiterate its 'buy' rating and €74 price target.
Strong demand from the offshore oil industry in Norway and developing markets enabled marine services group James Fisher to speed growth in the second half of the year and deliver 2013 results ahead of analyst expectations.
On revenues up 14% to £413.7m, underlying pre-tax profits (PTP) rose 18% to £41.4m and diluted earnings per share (EPS) by 19% to 65.5p.
Chief Executive Nick Henry pointed to organic growth and a good contribution from the March acquisition of diving equipment supplier Divex.
All four of the group's operating divisions contributed well, with Offshore Oil growing particularly strongly, benefitting from favourable market conditions in the North Sea as well as making significant progress in the new deep sea markets off Brazil and Africa.
Marine Support, the largest unit, expanded its ship-to-ship transfer and mooring operations as well as making good progress with the development of its support contracts and diving businesses. Operating profits fell 5.2% in this division though.
Reflecting an above-expectations first-time contribution from Divex, the Specialist Technical business almost doubled profits on sales up by a third. The Nuclear business within Specialist Technical also broadened its customer base significantly while producing another good result.
The Tankships unit continued its recent earnings gains with careful attention to costs and managing capacity to reflect the level of contract demand.
CEO Henry reflected the board's optimism about future trading: "Our niche businesses, which operate in demanding environments where their strong marine service and specialist engineering skills are valued and rewarded, have good growth prospects. James Fisher's strong balance sheet will enable us to invest in further organic growth opportunities and to make appropriate bolt-on acquisitions."
A statement from the company noted that the increased scale of the group and its enhanced international presence has reinforced its market position in offshore, marine and nuclear sectors, giving management confidence that the business will continue its recent pattern of growth "across a broad front".
There is particular optimism that demand remains strong in its offshore oil division while the specialist technical subsea and nuclear businesses have a healthy order book in a growing market, with the group's strong balance sheet used to invest further in organic growth opportunities and to continue with targeted acquisitions.
Trading so far in 2014 has been in accordance with management expectations, with all businesses said to be well placed to provide further growth and shareholder value.