Ladbrokes hails revenues record

Ladbrokes announced record takings from its UK betting shops today after a run of favourable results and another surge in revenues from gaming machines.

Annual retail turnover of £739.5m was up 8.2% on a year earlier and came despite a significant

rise in cancelled horseracing meetings due to bad weather.

The company’s gross win margin, which measures the amount left by losing punters, was up more than one percentage point to 16.7% following good results in football and racing and improvements in Ladbrokes’ own pricing.

The run of good form, which included the exit of Chelsea and Manchester City from the Champions League, has continued into the new financial year, with retail revenues up 4.9% in the period up to February 12.

There was also a revenues rise of 13% for its digital arm at the start of 2013 as the company gears up for the launch of its new sportsbook website and mobile gaming platform over the first half of this year.

Their launch will address concerns that Ladbrokes has fallen behind its rivals in terms of its digital offer.

Across the group, Ladbrokes said pre-tax profits were 49% higher at £200.7m in the year to December 31.

Profit per shop was up for the third consecutive year, by 15.7% to £82,000, and Ladbrokes said it expected to open another 100 new outlets in the UK this year, on top of the 2,700 sites in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Spain.

Gaming machine revenues have been a big driver of growth in the industry but Ladbrokes warned it expected rates to slow as the market becomes more competitive. It has also been hit by a new 20% machine gaming duty this year.

With an average of 8,345 machines in the UK estate last year, revenues in this area were up by 13.9% to £339.9m. Gross win per machine was £946 a week.

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