Ladbrokes reports revenue and profits decline

Ladbrokes: 2007 campaign starring Jimmy Hill
Ladbrokes: 2007 campaign starring Jimmy Hill

LONDON - Ladbrokes has reported a 32% drop in profits with the bookies blaming the recession and bad weather.

Group profit before tax also declined from £250.7m to £168.5m in the year ending 31 December 2009, while group revenue dropped from just over £1bn 2008 to £963.7m.

Sales have continued to decline this year. In the period from 1 January to 16 February revenue dropped 4.6% against the same period in 2009.

Ladbrokes said that this was due to a high level of UK and Irish horse race abandonments and football match postponements.

Peter Erskine, chairman at Ladrokes, said: "2009 was a challenging year for Ladbrokes. We were impacted by the deteriorating economic environment and the industry-wide issue of lower third quarter gross win margins."

The comppany did claim to have benefited from its CRM programme, OddsOn! which was launched in 2008. It said that the loyalty programme accounts for around 40% of over the counter amounts staked. 

In July 2009 Ladbrokes turned it's focus from recruitment to targeted marketing and expects to reduce free bets from £16.3m in 2009 to £10m in 2010. It added that it was "encouraged" by the targeted marketing activity.

Labrokes in November also strengthened its board with the appointment of Sly Bailey, chief executive officer of Trinity Mirror and Darren Shapland, chief financial officer of Sainsbury as non-executive directors.

The company is still on the hunt for a new chief executive following last month's announcement that Chris Bell is stepping down, after almost 20 years with the betting company.

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