by Renee Israel
The Chief Executive of UK bookmaker, Ladbrokes, promised to pour his efforts
into improving the group's digital platform, against the backdrop of an overall
satisfactory first half interim report put out on Thursday.
While profits on Ladbrokes' digital operations halved in the first half of
2012, this was offset by vastly improved performances in its British high street
business and European retail operators, which led to an overall rise in
Ladbrokes profits of 11% (to £106.9 million).
Digital performance was poor, with profits from online, tablet and mobile
platforms dropping to £15 million from £29.7 million in the same period only one
Ladbrokes now trails far behind its rival bookmakers such as William Hill who
continue to flourish and expand in the online and mobile gambling industries.
Clear Programme to Improve Ladbrokes Digital
Ladbrokes seems to have finally realised that if it does not do anything to
improve its digital platform very quickly, it will affect group profits at the
end of the year.
"We have now got a very clear programme to deliver the new technologies over
the next six months," said Glynn.
Steps have already been taken to correct some of the problems. Last week it
was announced that Richard Ames, who was responsible for trading and IT, had
been asked to leave the company, with a £500,000 pay off.
To improve digital, Ladbrokes has also hired technology director, Mark
Ladbrokes said that it would launch a new online sportsbook in the last
quarter of 2012, and mobile players will also be able to access it.
It remains to be seen whether Ladbrokes' commitment of £50 million to develop
its own online and digital technology will start paying off next year.
No Sporting Surprises for Ladbrokes
While the markets for most of the Olympic events were offered for the first
time in history at major sports betting sites, Ladbrokes said that it was no
likely that the Games would impact the group's profits much.
"Gambling is not a natural bedfellow of the Olympics," said Glynn. "It's
really not the same as the Euros or the English Premier League season."
Glynn also commented on the gross win of £9 million for the group "on a
little bit disappointing turnover" during the Euro 2012 soccer tournament, where
England lost to Italy in the quarter final stages of the competition.