Ladbrokes may review Irish business after profit fall

2 March 2015

UK bookmaker Ladbrokes is reportedly considering a review of its Irish business after the division posted a loss in 2014.

As reported by iGaming Business last week, despite the bookmaker recording a 3.8% year-on-year increase in headline revenue to £1.1 billion (€1.5 billion/$1.7 billion), it was hit by various losses in the wider business.

Overall group operating profit dropped by 9.3% to £125.4 million and profit before tax tumbled by 13.5% to £98 million.

In the wake of these losses, the Irish Independent newspaper reported that Ladbrokes has launched a strategic examination of the company in order to gain an insight into why its Irish business is failing.

‘Project Athru’ will consider various options to turn around the business in Ireland, which could include putting unprofitable shops into examinership or selling off its entire Irish operation.

“It's been pretty tough here for the last two to three years,” a source told the newspaper.

“Good money was made here - and Ladbrokes is still a good name. Our Republic of Ireland estate has not been performing well in recent years and in 2014 it recorded a loss, which is not a sustainable situation going forward.

“Our international team is now carrying out a thorough review, entitled 'Project Athru', of all our channels in RoI.

“As part of this process a wide range of options are being considered in order to rapidly turn around the fortunes of Ladbrokes in Ireland.

“There are a number of things being looked at, but the board has not got them yet. It is not a done deal.

“Our desire is to have a successful, profitable multi-channel Republic of Ireland business that continues to offer employment and gives our customers an attractive and competitive experience.

“To do that, standing still is not an option. The review is expected to continue for the next few months and nothing has yet been decided.”

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