International edition
September 24, 2021

Besides, Nick Rust was appointed retail Managing Director

Ladbrokes new CEO sets blueprint for future growth

(UK).- New Ladbrokes CEO Richard Glynn stamped his mark on the bookmaker with the announcement of a management shake-up, the restoration of its dividend and a deal to buy gambling machines for its outlets.

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lynn, who joined the company from Sporting Index in April, has undertaken an operational review as he looks to close the gap on rival William Hill, which has outperformed Ladbrokes in recent times, particularly in online gambling. The review - "Project Galvanise" - has identified a number of areas in which Ladbrokes can improve its performance.

"These include a focus on the customer, improving the 'e' performance, the brand effectiveness and enhancing the technology background of the group," Glynn said.
"I expect these priorities, supported by targeted investment, will deliver customer satisfaction, revenue growth, margin improvement and operational efficiencies over the medium term," he added.

The review has resulted in a management shake-up, with Nick Rust due to join the company from rival Gala Coral early next year to take up the position of retail managing director.

Richard Ames will look after the retail operations in the meantime, with Gary McIlraith joining from Alix Partners to become managing director of digital channels, international and strategy. Former Gala Coral chairman and chief executive John Kelly has joined the board as a non-executive.

Ladbrokes has also struck a four-year deal for Global Draw to supply 95 % of its shops with gambling machines, with the rollout starting early next year. Shares in the company, which have risen by 17 % since the beginning of July on optimism over the new management, were up 6 %.

"With a new CEO, a machines announcement and some strong hires, there is an emerging story at Ladbrokes beyond simply being cheap," said KBC Peel Hunt analyst Nick Batram.

Ladbrokes, which owns over 2,700 betting shops, also said on Thursday it made an underlying operating profit of us$ 165.4 million in the half-year to June 30, up 5 % on a year earlier and ahead of the consensus forecast of us$ 157.5 million, according to figures provided by the company.

Trading was boosted by the soccer World Cup, though revenue was dented by unfavourable horse-racing results, especially at June's Royal Ascot meeting.

Ladbrokes said it would pay an interim dividend of 3.85 pence per share. It stopped paying dividends at the interim stage last year on the back of tough trading conditions and ahead of an equity fundraising.

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