Despite online net revenue for the first half of this year being behind analyst estimates at us$ 140 million due to lower than expected casino performance, Glynn said that in the face of challenging economic conditions it was “pleasing to see good levels of underlying growth in both the UK retail and digital businesses”.
Without breaking the figures down further the bookmaker said net revenue growth, after adjusting for the World Cup, was 6.6% and 19.1% in digital and sportsbook respectively.
Overall Ladbrokes’ operating profits fell by 16.8% to us$ 152.9 million in the six months to the end of June. Total operating profit – excluding high rollers – was us$ 97.6 million compared with us$ 169.2 million in the same period last year.
Glynn, who has been in charge of the business since early last year, said its Q2 performance online had accelerated, particularly in sportsbook, but that the business was looking to invest more in that area. “We have an awful lot to do with this business, we need to prioritise sportsbook, yield and casino,” he said during an analyst presentation this morning. “Poker is not an area of priority. “We have to make sure we’re putting for birdies on every hole and we’re not,” he added.
Glynn has also been busily reviewing its supplier relationships including renewing an open platform deal with Microgaming earlier this year however he said current discussions remained “confidential”.
Speaking to eGaming Review, Richard Ames, head of product within the newly restructured company, said he was unable to disclose the length and nature of the deal but that the bookmaker was looking at “all its contracts to be flexible and add “best of breed content”.
“In the next two or three months we will be in a position to announce more sourced content,” he said. “There is a significant focus on sportsbook, betting in-play and new slots content,” he added.
Responding to analyst Jason Street from RBS, who suggested that Ladbrokes’s executive team were being “evasive” and “frequently avoiding answering certain questions in detail”, Peter Erskine, chairman, denied this was the case and that these results were “credible” and that “we know we have a long way to go”.