Aug 31, 2017

Rise in online gambling boosts profits at Ladbrokes Coral

UK gambling group Ladbrokes Coral has declared an "Encouraging start" to the year despite declining business in its betting shops, saying it had been boosted by a big rise in online gambling. Reporting results for the six months to June 30 on Thursday, Ladbrokes said group revenues rose just 1 per cent to £1.2bn on a pro forma basis - taking into account trading at both Ladbrokes and Coral before the groups completed a £2.2bn merger last year. Operating profits were up 7 per cent to £158.3m. Revenues from its UK betting shops were down 6 per cent compared with the same period last year, to £697.2m. But revenues from its digital division, which includes bets placed on smartphones, increased 18 per cent on a constant currency basis to £374.5m. Chief executive Jim Mullen said the results reflected the successful integration of technology between Ladbrokes and Coral and that the merged group was on course to produce £150m of synergies per year by 2019. Last week, it emerged that online gambling group GVC approached Ladbrokes Coral with a takeover offer worth as much as £3.6bn in recent weeks but the talks have broken down. Ladbrokes Coral is optimistic on the outcome of the review.

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