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LadbrokesBritish online and land-based sportsbetting operator Ladbrokes has released an interim management statement covering its financial results for the three months to the end of March and showing a 3.3 percent rise year-on-year in net revenues from continuing operations but excluding high-rollers. Harrow-based Ladbrokes completed its acquisition of the parent firm behind global betting exchange operator Betdaq last month for an initial consideration of €30 million and stated that it ‘continues to progress its reinvigoration strategy’ with ‘further improvements in pricing trading and liability management’ alongside the ‘continued evolution of our retail offer, the delivery of a new digital sportsbook and strong cash generation’. Despite these advancements, Ladbrokes declared that like-for-like net revenues for the three-month period negating the impact of gaming machines duties introduced from February 1 dropped by 0.9 percent year-on-year. In addition, its operating profit before tax, finance expenses and exceptional items but including the amortisation of customer relationships fell by £13 million when compared with the same period in 2012 to £37.4 million largely due to an approximate increase of some nine million pounds in like-for-like costs and machine taxation as well as circa six million pounds less in Cheltenham revenues. “Ladbrokes had always planned for a reduction in group operating profit during the quarter due to known taxation and cost headwinds in UK retail and the expected second-half weighting of growth in digital revenues,” read the statement from Ladbrokes. Taking these results into consideration, Ladbrokes proclaimed that it expects its operating profit for the year to be ‘at the bottom of the existing market range’. “We continue to make progress in implementing the plans necessary to transform Ladbrokes,” said Richard Glynn, Chief Executive Officer for Ladbrokes. “While we will always be subject to the vagaries of one-off events and short-term trading trends, we continue to deliver against our strategy and build on the improvements made in the business to date. “The trading environment and economic conditions since the start of the year have remained challenging, which, when combined with a number of specific one-off factors in the latter part of the period, have driven a softer first quarter than expected. “After a slow start, the performance of machines in recent weeks shows encouraging signs of responding to planned initiatives. We have a number of initiatives in the business already underway to redress some of the areas highlighted by the first quarter’s trading. With our new sportsbook fully launched, we have a strong online offer and expect it to play a big part in growing the business following an initial period of transition. “Our partnership with Playtech aims to address our underperformance in gaming and accelerate our performance in mobile. We will also take the opportunity to drive efficiencies across all parts of the business.”

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