Ladbrokes' profit rises 5.6pc to €6.9m despite 10pc fall in stakes
UK betting chain Ladbrokes posted an operating profit of £5.7m (€6.9m) at its Irish operations in the six months to the end of June, a 5.6pc rise on the corresponding period in 2009.
Releasing interim results yesterday, the group noted that the amounts staked at its outlets on the island of Ireland fell nearly 10pc, however, to £292.7m (€353m). The company operates 207 shops in the Republic and a further 78 in the North.
Overall results delivered by the group in the first half of the year were better than expected by analysts, while investors were also buoyed as new chief executive Richard Glynn announced a raft of senior management changes and resumed dividend payments.
But Ladbrokes warned that the operating environment in Ireland "remains challenging".
It added that in light of the tough market, it has been maintaining tight control on costs.
Sterling-denominated operating costs for its Irish arm fell by 6.8pc to just over £30m for the period, driven by what it said were staff scheduling efficiencies, changes to the Tote commission and a review of all head office costs.
On a group basis, Ladbrokes reported a 5.1pc rise in operating profit to £103.6m, while group net revenue slipped 2.4pc to £492.1m. That excluded operating profit and revenue from its "high-roller" clients who bet large sums of money.
But reflecting tough times, even for well-heeled punters, the amount of operating profit Ladbrokes generated from its high-rollers collapsed 85pc in the period to £8.9m.
The chain said that the benefit of World Cup betting, which resulted in a £27m (€32.5m) gross win for Ladbrokes, was offset by disappointing horse racing results, particularly at Royal Ascot where a large number of favourites galloped home.