Digital slump hits Ladbrokes figures
UK bookmaker Ladbrokes has reported a 48.5% year-on-year fall in pre-tax profit from £106.9 million (€124.1 million/$161.3 million) to £55.1 million for the six months until the end of June 2013.
Operating profit at its digital division slumped by 28% to £10.8 million, while the company also blamed the lack of major football tournaments this summer, poor returns and increased taxes on its UK retail business.
The bookmaker is in the process of moving across to a new digital system under a deal struck earlier this year with software company Playtech – a move that Ladbrokes chief executive officer Richard Glynn expects to improve the company’s financial outlook.
'In digital, our partnership with Playtech will see us deliver a compelling online and mobile offer for customers underpinned by proven software, operated by experts,' Glynn said.
'During the second half of 2013, we will build on early progress already made by adopting Playtech products and technology and expect to benefit from new marketing and customer relationship management capabilities.
'We aim to finalise the integration early in 2014, thereby enabling significant growth in earnings.'
Ladbrokes also said that a heatwave in July had cut customer numbers in betting shops by up to 15%, adding: 'Although this weather effect is one off, it is unlikely that lost machine revenue will be recovered during the rest of the year.'
Ladbrokes warned investors in April that it expected operating profit to fall this year.