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Ladbrokes profit from digital investment and football upsets

February 22nd, 2013 / lee

Online betting site Ladbrokes have benefitted from some favourable football results which has helped them boost their profits. Ladbrokes saw their operating profits increase by 8% up to over £200 million over the final financial quarter of 2012. Profits for Ladbrokes rose 36% up to £236 million as well as a very positive increase in revenues up to over a billion pound. Football results have been a big positive for the betting site, but so too has their big investments in digital content and delivery.

“In the last quarter of 2012 and into this year we have benefited from favourable results, particularly in football,” Ladbrokes chief Richard Glynn said. “It began with Chelsea’s exit from the Champions League and continues with the inconsistency of Chelsea, Arsenal and even my own team Leeds.”

So while some big matches have gone the way of the betting site, they have improved their area of online betting and gaming immensely. They had been tracking behind the likes of William Hill, substantially so, but the heavy investment and recent developments that the group have made in order to drive forward their digital content has started to pay them back, meaning that they are hoping to have caught up with their rivals and be driving further growth by the second half of the year.

Richard Glyn continued: “Our sportsbook will be fully out there by the end of this quarter, and our mobile platform by the end of the second quarter. We have seen a huge increase in bet in play, which now accounts for 60% of the amount staked on the sportsbook.”

But Ladbrokes are not just stopping at their investment in digital content, which is becoming an increasingly important avenue for bookmakers. They are also intent on expanding their network of high street shops across Britain. Ladbrokes are planning to open up 100 more physical bases around the country over the next year and all of their 2200 shops will eventually have Skysports screens in them, in order to extend the range of sports that high street customers can get on. The inclusion of self service terminals are still being seen as a positive investment, even though they will have to pay a 20% gaming duty (as to all high street bookmakers), and it could cost around £14 million per year to operate them.

Glynn added: “It’s not just football but rugby union, tennis, boxing and even speedway. As we introduce more self-service terminals, bet in play is growing rapidly. We have invested £70 million into our High Street shops over the last couple of years.”

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