Online trading boosts revenue at Ladbrokes
Ladbrokes Coral’s revenues returned to growth in the third quarter but retail revenues fell and declines at its Ladbrokes.com website were worse than expected.
Group net revenues grew 3% in the period from 1 July to 29 October, up from a fall of 2% in the second quarter and 1% growth in the first half.
Like-for-like net retail revenues from its bookmaking shops was down 1% in the period, though with LFL over-the-counter staking down 5% being an improvement from the 9% decline in the second quarter after the return of all horse racing content due to the agreement with The Racing Partnership in July.
OTC margins were 40 basis points ahead of last year, with Ladbrokes up 60bps and Coral flat, resulting in OTC net revenue down 4% and machines revenues flat.
European retail net revenue was 17% ahead with stakes 10% ahead or 5% at constant currencies, with win margins were 0.8pp.
Digital net revenue was 12% ahead of last year and 15% ahead excluding the European Championships football last year, though Ladbrokes.com was 9% behind or down 5% if excluding the Euros.
Chief executive Jim Mullen said it was a “period of positive trading performance”, with “solid delivery” on key targets for the year including the integration between the Ladbrokes and Coral businesses as the anniversary of the merger on 1 November.
On digital he said pointed to 41% growth in Australia and with the Eurobet brand in Italy also posting strong revenue growth.
“In the UK, the Coral and Gala brands also posted very pleasing growth, and we continue to transition our approach to customer acquisition and retention in Ladbrokes.com to focus on improved profit conversion. In UK Retail, performance improved in line with our expectations primarily driven by the return of all horse-racing content to our shops,” he said.
Touching on the major issue of fixed odd betting terminals, where the government last month delayed making a final decision until January but still proposed cutting the maximum stakes from £100 to between £50 and £2, Mullen said: “Ladbrokes Coral reached its first birthday on 1st November, the day after the further consultation on the Triennial Review was announced. We have existed with the uncertainty caused by the review since we were created and hope that the announcement of a 12 week consultation heralds a positive step to reaching a final outcome. We will take a full part in the consultation.”