During the first half of this year, ending 30th June, the operating profits at betting shops group Ladbrokes saw a fall of almost 17% as the group’s “high rollers” customers continued to register big wins.
The high roller activities at Ladbrokes showed an operating loss of £4m during the first half of the year after showing a profit of £8.9 the prior year. This resulted in total operating profits to be down from £112.5m to £93.6m. Last year saw a gain of £20m in interest income on a tax settlement resulting in pre-tax profit dropping by almost a third from £105.1m to £71.8m.
Excluding high rollers, the total operating profit fell by 5.8% and profits actually rose by 16.9% when excluding 2010’s benefit of the World Cup and a one-off VAT credit.
A corporation tax settlement realized in the first half of 2010 was the cause of total earnings per share dropping by 81.3% from 38.4p to 7.2p.
The company, however, gave a positive outlook and chief executive Richard Glynn said "We continue to make good progress and are on track with the delivery of operational and technology milestones. Whilst remaining mindful of tough economic conditions and continuing uncertainty affecting consumer disposable incomes, we remain in line with Board expectations for the full year.”