Dip in punters' form sees profits of Ladbrokes in Ireland grow 54%


Bookmaker Ladbrokes’s Irish profits grew by over 50 per cent last year to more than €16 million on the back of poor results for its customers.

The London-listed company reported yesterday that operating profit from the 292 bookie shops that it operates in Ireland grew 54 per cent to £14.2 million (€16.4m).

Ladbrokes said the growth came despite a fall of more than 10 per cent to £535.7 million from £598 million in the amount its customers staked.

The company said the improved profit was partly driven by favourable results “particularly across the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals”, which means its customer backed a higher number of losers than average last year.

However, it said that the increase also reflected a broader product offering across the estate and enhancements in trading technology and processes.

Amounts staked down

The figures show that the amounts bet in its gaming machines, which it is allowed to operate in its 79 Northern Irish shops, rose 6 per cent to £158.6 million. This meant that total amounts staked in its Irish business were down 7 per cent at £694.3 million. In total, it won £82.3 million from its customers, a 1.1 per cent improvement on 2011.

Last month Ladbrokes announced it was buying businessman Dermot Desmond’s Betdaq betting exchange business for €30 million.

Ladbrokes announced record takings from its British betting shops yesterday, a performance that was also tied to a run of favourable results as well as a surge in revenues from gaming machines.

Annual retail turnover of £739.5 million was up 8.2 per cent on a year earlier and came despite a significant rise in cancelled horse racing meetings due to bad weather.

The company’s gross win margin, which measures the amount left by losing punters, was up more than 1 percentage point to 16.7 per cent.

– (Additional reporting: PA)