Ladbrokes in lift as online games boom

City A.M. Reporter
LADBROKES yesterday reported a 20 per cent jump in annual profit as online gaming helped it overcome a seven per cent fall in bets staked at its shop counters.

In its digital operation the UK’s largest betting firm saw profit rise by 36 per cent to £62.7m.

Revenues from online sports betting grew 16.9 per cent to £65.1m.

Horseracing margins worsened due to the introduction of an odds guarantee promotion in August and relatively poor results in some of the significant racing festivals of the year, including the Grand National and Royal Ascot.

Chief executive Richard Glynn, who has overseen a strategic review of the business since taking the reins last year, said the group was in good shape.

Having extended its in-play offering and launched new mobile phone apps, Glynn said the company expected to invest an additional £50m during 2011 and 2012 in order to further improve its technology.

He added: “We have laid solid foundations in 2010 upon which to build. We have set out our strategic goals and we have a clear set of priorities on which to focus.”

The company said it was planning to expand its highly successful in-game betting operation.

Ladbrokes opened 40 stores in the year and carried out refurbishments on 130. Mobile phone transactions now account for 15 per cent of all digital sales.