KARL BURNS | SHORE CAPITAL
Current trading in UK retail net revenue is down 5.8 per cent, reflecting a stronger gross win margin and lower free bets. We believe this is an encouraging figure, with the impact from poor weather conditions likely to have been significant. Lower gross profit tax and costs, led to January’s operating profit being ahead of last year.
PAUL LEYLAND | COLLINS STEWART
Ladbrokes has clearly been active in terms of both revenue initiatives and cutting costs. However, we see little to change our 2010 forecasts. We are also encouraged that Ladbrokes is to extend the maturity of its debt profile, though we would caution that this may be at the cost of higher interest rates.
NIGEL PARSON | EVO SECURITIES
The shares have started to outperform this year on hopes that the recovery potential will be captured. There is much to be done as it is 18-36 months behind William Hill, which remains our preferred stock but there are the first signs of improvement. We have nudged our share price target to 160p from 150p.