Ladbrokes hits targets despite drop in operating profit

30 April 2014

Bookmaker Ladbrokes said that despite having suffered a year-on-year drop in group operating profit during the three months to March 31, 2014, it was still able to deliver all of its “stated operational targets” either on time or ahead of schedule.

The company recorded operating profit of £18.4 million (€22.4 million/$30.9 million) in the first quarter of 2014, down from £37.4 million in the corresponding period last year.

Ladbrokes put a 2.3% drop in revenue down to industry-wide results that have impacted a number of companies.

The bookmaker’s UK retail operation recorded a gross win margin of 16.2%, a drop of 2.7 percentage points on the 18.9% achieved in Q1 of 2013.

The firm’s digital operation also suffered in the period, with sportsbook net revenue down 17.9% on a year-on-year basis while gaming net revenue also fell 17.7%.

However, Ladbrokes did report growth in its mobile sportsbook business, with mobile actives up 32% and amounts staked via mobile increasing 95%.

Richard Glynn, chief executive of Ladbrokes, said that despite the largely negative results, the company is on track with its targets and is optimistic about its performance over the rest of the year.

“In Q1 we delivered all of our stated operational targets on track or ahead of plan and our financial performance remains consistent with our expectations at the time of our annual results announcement in February,” Glynn said.

“Retail competed well demonstrating its continued appeal to the customer. In particular, it was pleasing to see OTC staking grow, driven by a strong performance in football. 

“In digital, the early encouraging customer response to our more competitive mobile and sportsbook offer has continued and our Grand National performance, particularly on mobile, shows that our product and platform improvements are starting to gain traction

“Looking ahead, the build up to the World Cup will see heightened competition.  We are now in position to compete hard, targeting customers through our brand and improved products along with aggressive but sensible offers and promotions.”

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