Store closures will not hit Ireland: Ladbrokes

Betting and gaming giant Ladbrokes said its pending store closure plan will not affect its Irish operations, adding that its plans here surround consolidation.

A spokesperson for the British company confirmed reports that the company plans to close between 40 and 50 outlets this year.

However, they said the move will not affect the company’s Irish retail estate and that the UK shop closures will follow two years of above average expansion.

Ladbrokes said its Irish operations are unlikely to be bolstered by new store acquisitions, this year, but said “we will continue to manage the estate in terms of refurbishments and further develop our Betdaq business.”

At the beginning of last year, Ladbrokes bought the Dermot Desmond-founded Betdaq betting exchange business, for an initial consideration of €30m, in a bid to further boost its digital and online offering.

News of Ladbrokes’s closure plans surprised some analysts, however, who had factored in net openings of around 20 outlets this year. The group has opened about 200 shops in its main territories in the last two years.

“Optimising the underperforming tail of its estate is something we would expect at Ladbrokes, but this level of net closures is a slight surprise to us,” said Gavin Kelleher of Goodbody Stockbrokers.

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