OPERATING PROFITS SINK AT LADBROKES
26th February, 2015 at 10:18:40
More retail betting shops to close.
Richard Glynn, CEO of the UK online and land gambling group Ladbrokes
plc, departs on a decidedly low note this year after a difficult five years at the helm, with the company reporting preliminary FY 2014 results that are hardly stellar.
* Operating profits down 9.3% to £125.4 million in 2014;
* Another 60 retail betting shops scheduled for closure in addition to the 89 outlets shuttered last year;
* Headline pre-tax profits down 13.5% to £ 98 million;
* Profits after tax down 13.4% at £ 93.1 million;
* Revenues of just over £ 1.1 billion, up 3.8 percent;
* £ 8 million negative as a result of player-friendly football results on Boxing Day;
* 2015 dividend to remain at 8.9p per share.
The digital operations of the company performed well, with headline revenues up 0.07% at £811.5 million, and operating profit up 70.7% at £ 14 million.
Digital operations Europe and Australia delivered the following highlights:
* Mobile Sportsbook growth strong: staking up 110% (Q4:+114percent);
* Mobile actives up 62% (Q4:+45 percent);
* Overall Sportsbook growth strong: staking up 32% (Q4:+30 percent);
* Actives up 25% (Q4:+14 percent);
* Tablet Sportsbook launched in December 2014. Desktop Sportsbook transition to Mobenga in H2 2015;
* Ladbrokes.com Sportsbook net revenue £ 84.8 million up 21 percent; gross win margin down at 7.8% (2013: 8.1 percent);
* Ladbrokes.com Gaming net revenue down 6.7% at £ 80.5 million, but returned to growth in Q4 with net revenue up 9.3% and actives up 23 percent;
* Loss turned into a profit in Australia; operating profit £ 2.6 million (FY 2013: £ 2.9 million loss)with net revenues up 151% and acvtives up 88 percent;
* Exchanges: net revenue better and up 36.1% (Q4:+25.9 percent)
In his last annual report to the board, Glynn said that there were areas of growth in the business, and that the changes that have been made will enable Ladbrokes to be more responsive to customers and more competitive in the industry.
"Strong operational delivery delivered a second half of growth as envisaged but the £ 8 million hit on Boxing Day did take some of the shine off our performance," he said, adding that international growth and expanding digital operations remain priorities.
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