Ladbrokes pins hopes on marketing deal as profit slides

Ladbrokes is pinning its hopes on a marketing-led recovery after profits across all its business units dipped in the first-half of its fiscal year.  

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Group operating profit fell 19.8 per cent to £85.7m in the six months to 30 June. Its UK betting shops were among the worst performers in the period with retail profit tumbling by almost a fifth to £73.2m.

The company blamed the hot early summer weather for keeping punters out of its 1,700 shops and off the slot machines found inside.

Worryingly for Ladbrokes, digital profit also fell, by 28 per cent to £10.8m. The company is trailing rival William Hill in exploiting the fast growing area.

It looked to address this weakness in March by signing a wide ranging extension to its deal with software provider PlayTech. The arrangement will lead to the introduction of a raft of branded casino games. It also led to the setup of Ladbrokes Israel, a 40-strong digital marketing team that employ PlayTech’s digital marketing services.

In a statement, Ladbrokes says the PlayTech deal will pay dividends. “Once fully implemented, it [the deal] will accelerate revenue growth in 2014 and beyond.”

Chief executive Richard Glynn insists the deal will see it ”deliver a compelling online and mobile offer for customers….” 

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