Ladbrokes plans £50m revamp

Ladbrokes says it will invest £50m on a brand revamp over the next two years and employ a brand marketing director to boost promotions.

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Ladbrokes’ Ian Wright campaign

The transformation will also include investment in new technology, the strengthening of Ladbrokes’ retail offering and development of “operational excellence”.

The announcement of Ladbrokes’ new long-term strategy came as the gambling company reported profit was down 11.9% on the previous year to £207.3m, largely due to a halt in betting from a single “high roller” gambler.

Excluding high rollers, operating profit did rise 20.1% to £202.3m for the 12 months to 31 December. Net revenue was up 1.3% on 2009 to £976.6m.

Sports events such as the World Cup and Ashes failed to counter balance a loss in over-the-counter bets in its retail shops which 7.3%, impaired by the economic climate and lost racing fixtures.

However, Ladbrokes says its betting shops are a stable source of revenue and will add an extra 30 shops to its estate this year.

Chief executive Richard Glynn says: “Digital technology has changed the competitive landscape and we realise the imperative to strengthen our capabilities in areas such as Sportsbook, technology, customer management and online marketing.”

He adds that currently Ladbrokes is “underinvested and behind the curve” and the full two-year transformation will include investment in advancing technology such as improving its website search capabilities in order to close the gap on rival William Hill.

Digital net revenue increased by 5.4% to £169.4m which Ladbrokes says reflects investments made in its online mobile products and development of online marketing capabilities.

Ladbrokes appointed former Thomas Cook and Sainsbury’s marketer Stephen Vowles as its director of customer experience in November, responsible for marketing, loyalty and customer values.

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