he Harrow-based giant stated that the decrease was largely down to March’s “abnormal gross win margin” alongside increased free bets and unfavourable costs associated with phasing in eGaming. “This rate of decline is not representative of our expectations for the year and has already given way to more normal trends in May,” read a statement from Ladbrokes.
It revealed that its results excluding high rollers were in line with its expectations up to the end of April despite an “unusually high level of horse race cancellations”. Ladbrokes revealed that March had been “highly profitable for many of our customers” with group win increasing by five percent year-on-year while group gross win remained flat.
Profits from continuing operations before interest, tax and non-trading items from high rollers were revealed as us$ 41 million, which was down from us$ 65.8 million last year, while Ladbrokes stated that it had taken in a further us$ 27.9 million since the beginning of this month.
“While it is difficult to predict future staking levels in the current economic climate, the general resilience of our business and strong cost control gives us confidence in the outturn for the full year,” said Chris Bell, Chief Executive Officer for Ladbrokes.
Ladbrokes revealed that net revenues from its eGaming division decreased 2% year-on-year over the first four months of 2009. Although it experienced growth in games, this was offset by weakness in its poker and sportsbook margins, which was mainly down to results at Cheltenham. “We successfully completed the migration of our poker business to the Microgaming network in early February,” read the statement.
“Active players increased 14 % during the period with sign-ups growing by ten percent but this was offset by a decline in player yields. While we remain confident of the outturn for 2009, the weaker economic conditions and softening yields make it unlikely that we will achieve the growth necessary to reach our previously stated profitability target in 2010.”