Ladbrokes' Irish profit down 15.6pc
PROFITS at the Irish arm of UK betting business Ladbrokes fell 15.6pc to £9.2m (€11m) last year as its operating costs rose on the back of shop acquisitions.
Releasing results yesterday, Ladbrokes said that despite the tough economic backdrop in Ireland, the amount of money staked in its stores here rose 7.5pc in 2011 to £598.3m (€721m).
That excluded the £149m (€179.5m) that was bet on in-store machines in its Northern Ireland outlets.
Ladbrokes said that the gross win for the group from its over-the-counter bets at Irish stores nudged up 0.9pc last year to £75.7m (€91.2m), while operating costs jumped 6.8pc to £62.1m (€74.8m).
The company said that its gross win margin from bets staked in its Irish stores slipped 0.8 percentage points during the year to 12.7pc.
That was impacted by horse-racing results in the first half of the year that proved favourable to customers.
At the Cheltenham Festival last March Irish punters cleaned up after 13 Irish-trained horses galloped home to secure first place finishes. "Faced with the current economic downturn we have focused on local competition and a drive to increase market share in the Republic of Ireland, as well as maintaining a tight control on costs across the whole Irish estate," the company said.
On a group basis, Ladbrokes reported a 0.4pc rise in net revenue to £980.3m (€1.18bn), while operating profit declined 0.4pc to £193.5m (€233m).
Chief executive Richard Glynn said the group's UK retail business had "performed strongly" during the year and that the profit per shop was 6.9pc higher.