Ladbrokes to report earnings as €2.8bn merger nears

Deal with Coral looks set to get cleared by regulators

Gavin Sheehan on Cole Harden celebrates winning the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, during the Cheltenham Festival. Ladbrokes is forecast to report earnings of 2.7p per share on revenue of £628.5 million for the first half of 2016.  Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

Gavin Sheehan on Cole Harden celebrates winning the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, during the Cheltenham Festival. Ladbrokes is forecast to report earnings of 2.7p per share on revenue of £628.5 million for the first half of 2016. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

 

Bookmaker Ladbrokes, which is in the midst of a £2 billion (€2.83 billion) merger with Gala Coral, is due to report quarterly earnings this week.

Ladbrokes is forecast to report earnings of 2.7p per share on revenue of £628.5 million for the first half of 2016.

The deal between Ladbrokes and Coral looks set to get cleared by regulators on condition that 350-400 betting shops are sold to allay competition concerns.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority last month published the summary of its final report into the proposed merger.

It reiterated the findings in the preliminary report in May which said that 350-400 shops would have to be divested in order to remedy competition concerns in 642 local areas.

“Ladbrokes and Coral will now have to find a suitable buyer or buyers for the shops which the CMA will have to approve,” Goodbody said.

Irish bookmaker Boylesports signalled that it could bid for British betting shops that Ladbrokes and Gala Coral must sell.

Separately, ratings agency Fitch has said it expects Ladbrokes’ EBIT margin to remain subdued at around 6 per cent in 2016, before improving to around 7 per cent by 2017.

The agency noted EBIT has been falling year-on-year due to intense competition. It fell 43 per cent to £80 million last year, though this was largely due to the introduction of point-of- consumption tax.