Ladbrokes profits drop despite ‘good’ World Cup

Ladbrokes shop front

“Ladbrokes is a far stronger company and well positioned for growth”

  PICTURE: Daily Record  

LADBROKES suffered a drop of 33.7 per cent in their group operating profit for the first half of 2014, but a a decent World Cup has left bosses optimistic of a positive end to the year.

The dip in group operating profit to £56.8 million from £85.7m in the same period last year was in line with analysts’ forecasts and the firm had flagged up a likely decline earlier in the year.

Customer-friendly football results, which hit the industry as a whole in January, and completing “operational milestones” to benefit from their digital partnership with Playtech, which caused some disruption and went live only in May, played a part in the results.

Group net revenue did rise 1.6 per cent to £577.8m in the first six months of the year, while high rollers contributed £10.7m of operating profit, up from £3.4m in 2013.

Ladbrokes enjoyed a “good” World Cup with group stakes up 22.4 per cent to £115.3m.

Growth in Australia, Spain and Belgium, maintaining a disciplined marketing approach and building on the World Cup are key objectives for Ladbrokes in the second half of 2014.

“In the first half of 2014 we successfully delivered all of the planned operational improvements in time for the World Cup,” said chief executive Richard Glynn, speaking on Tuesday morning when the results were announced.

“Our offer performed well, delivering a great betting experience for our customers and a good result for the business in a highly competitive market.

“We have made substantial progress and while there is more to do there is also much to play for.

“We now have the products, the platforms, the people and the brand in place to deliver. Ladbrokes today is a far stronger company and well positioned for growth.”

Ladbrokes, which has closed 46 shops this year, will continue to work on the size and composition of their retail estate as the firm review implications of government proposals for restrictions on gaming machines and a rise in tax.

Ladbrokes’s share price at 8am on Tuesday morning was up 5.50p (4.21 per cent) to 136.40p.


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