UK betting giant Ladbrokes has announced their first half 2015 financial results, noting a 35.9% drop in operating profit and resulting in the company's CEO addressing the challenges ahead.
Key financial indicators for the first half of 2015 ending June 30th were:
Decrease in group revenue of 0.1 percent to GBP 588.8 million (H1/2014: GBP 589.3 million).
An increase in total corporate costs to GBP 12.2 million (H1/2014: GBP 11.1 million).
Net finance expense of GBP 14.2 million (H1/2014: GBP 12.8 million) mainly due to a higher blended interest rate.
A 49.7 percent decrease in profit before tax to GBP 27.5 million (H1/2014: GBP 54.7 million).
Total exceptional items before tax of GBP 78.9 million (H1/2014: GBP 27.0 million) which includes closure of shops in UK and Ireland.
Commenting on his company's financial results, Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen said, “Our first half results reflect the challenge facing Ladbrokes. While we have some encouraging customer trends, we need to reset the business and invest. The results clearly show why we need to change and why we need to do so quickly."
“In July, we set out an organic plan to create a better business in 2017 with clear targets. While doing this removes the short-term thinking that had come to dominate our actions, we recognise it does create short-term impacts on our profitability."
“However, our focus has to be about looking forward, investing and utilising our strengths to grow. There are signs in H1 that the customer is there to be convinced by the Ladbrokes offer – good Gaming performance, strong Mobile Sportsbook KPIs and growth in Australia. We have a solid base to build on."
“So going forward expect to see the Ladbrokes brand more prominent across the media, a retail driven multi-channel offer rolling out to more customers, an evolving and improved Digital offer and further progress in Australia."
“The proposed merger with the Coral Group represents an exciting opportunity for the business but, with completion some way away, the focus for me and my team must be on the here and now of delivering on our organic plan, building a better Ladbrokes and driving performance towards our 2017 targets.”