UK retail and online betting group Ladbrokes has posted their first half 2016 financial results, noting an increase in profits and revenues.
Corporate highlights for the first half ending June 30th, 2016 were:
- Group operating profit up 61% at £ 52.3 million - ahead of management's expectations;
- Strong free cash flow generation, with net debt reduced to £ 227.2 million (2015 H1: £ 414.3 million);
- Exceptional items - mainly Coral merger related of £ 14.5 million;
- Headline earnings per share at 3.4p up 41.7 percent;
- Conditional clearance given by the authorities for the merger with Coral to go ahead;
- Overall revenues up 13.1% at £ 661.8 million and net revenue up 45.5 percent;
- Profit after tax up 57.2% at £ 34.9 million
Commenting on his company's performance Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen said, "These strong numbers show customers are responding positively to the new strategy at a time when the sporting gods have generally been on our side and we've enjoyed some helpful bookmaker friendly results.
"This combination has helped boost profits in the first half of the year. History would strongly dictate that such a run of results in our favour would see customer staking suffer, but encouragingly these numbers firmly buck that trend and combine strong staking and a good margin.
"However, 130 years of experience in sports betting has shown us that we will endure a run of customer friendly results and margins will normalise. Despite this assumption on results and our intention to continue investing in marketing, we have slightly increased our full year expectations.
"Encouragingly we have delivered a good performance across all the key customer metrics outlined in last year's strategic plan and that gives us confidence that we are well placed to deliver against our stated 2017 targets. We have grown recreational customers, increased our football business, attracted more multi-channel customers and grown strongly in Australia.
"However, we are taking nothing for granted. We will continue to compete hard on pricing, product and customer services and maintain a relentless focus on meeting and exceeding customer expectations. With the merger on the horizon we recognise there is a lot of hard work still to come, but this is an exciting time for Ladbrokes and we approach the opportunities ahead with a strong sense of confidence."