As part of its interim results presentation yesterday, the British betting services giant said its business in Ireland — which covers 213 shops in the Republic, 79 in the North and a popular online presence — generated an operating profit of £6.3m (€7.3m) for the six months to the end of June. This was down from a figure of £6.7m for the corresponding period last year.
Irish net revenue, however, was up by 2% year-on-year to £41.3m.
While the amount of money punters spent on bets over the counter fell by over 4%, Ladbrokes’ gross wins here amounted to £42.6m; an increase of 2.2% on the same period last year.
On a group-wide basis, Ladbrokes’ first half performance was hindered by a number of aspects — including the lack of a major international football tournament in the summer, some cancelled horseracing meetings in the first quarter of the year and a flat performance at the major racing festivals of Cheltenham, Aintree and Ascot.
First-half net revenue was up by almost 3% to £566.5m; but pre-tax profits were down from £106.9m to £55.1m — and after-tax profit fell by 58.4% to £47.2m.
Operating profit at the group’s core UK business fell by nearly 20%, while there was a slight widening of losses at its Spanish business and a lowering in operating profit in Belgium.
Ladbrokes said Betdaq — the betting exchange founded by Dermot Desmond acquired earlier this year — is “making good progress” in being developed as a standalone business.
Ladbrokes said the July heatwave saw a reduction of 10%-15% in customer footfall at its stores.