his figure improved by 14 % when compared to the same period last year to £550.6 million following the addition of ‘high rollers’.
Total first-half operating profits improved by 11% year-on-year to £106.9 million to bring its overall earnings for the six-month period to £127.4 million, a 38 percent improvement when compared with last year’s initial half.
Harrow-based Ladbrokes recently announced the departure of Richard Ames, the man responsible for handling its trading and information technology duties, amid reports of a ‘botched digital strategy’ and today saw it report first-half digital operating profits of £15 million, which is well down on the £29.7 million it made over the same period in 2011.
All of this saw it report a total first-half operational profit after tax of £113.6 million, which is an increase of 86.5 % year-on-year, although its net debt has risen by 11.7 percent when compared with the same six-month period last year to £397 million.
“We have grown revenues by 8.4 percent and operating profit by eleven percent with strong cash generation continuing and a further strengthening of our balance sheet. Strong growth in operating profit in UK retail and an improved performance in our European retail and telephone businesses was pleasing and more than outweighed a decline in digital profits, which was greater than expected due largely to a weak sportsbook margin in the second quarter and exacerbated by delays in technology.”
“Looking forward we expect to see further growth in UK retail and plan to accelerate our programme of shop openings. We remain committed to our digital strategy of building a more competitive offer through a combination of ongoing investments to enhance our marketing, product and technology.”
“The delivery of several key technology developments is our focus in the second half. During the fourth quarter we will deliver our new sportsbook and begin the subsequent migration of all active customers. Our new mobile platform, which is reliant on the same technology, will then follow. The active data warehouse, now in use to underpin our new trading fieldbook, will be deployed further in the fourth quarter providing enhanced customer analytics to our marketing teams. This then facilitates the subsequent development of our customer relationship management capabilities. During the second half we will also extend the use of recent enhancements in our trading systems to cover further core sporting products.”
“We remain confident that a combination of these developments together with continued improvements to customer relationship management throughout 2013 will allow us to grow our digital business significantly.
“While we are mindful of the challenging economic backdrop we are comfortable that performance is in line with the board’s expectations for the full year.”