Ladbrokes returned to statutory profit in a number of fields for the half year ended 30 June.
The operator released headline and statutory results separately, with headline earnings including operations that have been discontinued at any point during the period.
Jim Mullen, Ladbrokes CEO, said the operator has grown its recreational customer base in the UK and seen favourable sporting results.
On a statutory basis, group operating profit was £37.7m, contrasting with a group operating loss of £37.2m in the same period last year.
Profit before tax was £25.2m, in comparison with a loss of £51.4m, while profit after tax of £20.7m was reported, up from a loss after tax of £41.4m.
Revenue climbed 12% to £661.8m, while another figure turning from loss to profit was basic earnings per share, from (4.5)p to 2p.
Headline revenue was the same as statutory revenue, but was up 13%, while group operating profit went up 34% to £52.3m.
Profit before tax improved by 61% to £39.8m and profit after tax rose by 57% to £34.9m.
Retail vs digital
Headline net revenue and operating profit was published for both retail and digital, showing UK retail’s net revenue went up 6% to £436.6m and digital net revenue ascended 41% to £158.1m.
UK retail operating profit was £63.5m, up 12%, but a digital operating loss of £9.6m was reported, though this improved from a loss of £11.5m.
This is CEO Jim Mullen’s first full year at the helm, after taking over in April last year, who said: “These strong numbers show customers are responding positively to the new strategy at a time when the sporting gods have generally been on our side and we’ve enjoyed some helpful bookmaker-friendly results. This combination has helped boost profits in the first half of the year.
“History would strongly dictate that such a run of results in our favour would see customer staking suffer, but encouragingly these numbers firmly buck that trend and combine strong staking and a good margin. However, 130 years of experience in sports betting has shown us that we will endure a run of customer friendly results and margins will normalise.”
Gala Coral merger
Following the Competition and Markets Authority’s ruling that Ladbrokes and Gala Coral need to sell 350-400 shops in order for their planned merger to complete, Ladbrokes said it is “engaging with potential buyers”, with the plan being for the merger to complete in the autumn.