Ladbrokes suffers as punters stake less

LADBROKES has seen revenue dip by six per cent in the first four months of 2010, as punters staked less in its betting shops.

the group said that in UK stores the amount placed on bets plunged by ten per cent.

Meanwhile profits from gaming machines fell after VAT was put back up to 17.5 per cent in January.

However, the operating profit rose three per cent while net debt was down £179m.

The company is also expecting a boost from betting on the World Cup.

New chief executive Richard Glynn, who joined the company last month, said: "The strength of UK consumer confidence post the election is difficult to gauge.

"However, group profitability year to date has been broadly in line with expectations."

Ladbrokes, whose shares have fallen by 19 per cent over the past year, has more than 2,750 betting shops.