Mar 28, 2017

Ladbrokes Coral pledges higher savings from merger

Ladbrokes on Tuesday insisted its £2.2bn merger with Coral was moving forward smoothly and savings would be higher than expected, although one-off costs from the tie-up caused the bookmaker to report a hefty loss last year. Ladbrokes Coral reported unaudited pro-forma results in which revenue increased 11 per cent to £2.4bn in the year to December 31, while operating profit rose 22 per cent to £264.3m. However, the company reported a pre-tax loss of £204.3m, compared with a profit of £2m in 2015, because of one-off expenses associated with the merger. Ladbrokes Coral predicted higher "Cost synergies" from the deal, saying it expected annual savings to rise from £35m in 2017 to £90m in 2018, and £100m in £2019. In Tuesday morning trading the company's shares were down 0.9 per cent at 134.1p. The company's pro-forma results fused figures from Ladbrokes and Coral during the 10 months to October 31 with numbers from Ladbrokes Coral Group during the two months to December 31. At the bookmaker's digital division, revenue increased 31 per cent on a constant currency basis to £666.2m. In a trading update for the period between the start of this year and March 19, Ladbrokes Coral said sporting results such as at this month's Cheltenham Festival, in which 23 or the 28 races "Went the bookmakers way", had helped trading to be slightly ahead of its position at the same point last year.

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