Despite some painful horseracing festival results throughout the summer, UK bookmaker Ladbrokes’ third quarter net revenue performance is proving “supportive” of its full-year expectations.
The operator reported a 12.1% increase in group net revenue, with digital business revenue jumping 48.2%, marking the fourth successive quarter that the sports-betting giant has reported a revenue increase.
Ladbrokes’ chief executive Jim Mullen commented: “Across all our key pillars we have been encouraged by the customer reaction. We have delivered growth for a fourth successive quarter in group net revenue, and in Ladbrokes.com an eleventh in sportsbook staking and an eighth in gaming.”
The company announced the figures as its all-share merger with Gala Coral to create a £2.3bn betting group inches towards completion. Other notable figures show UK retail rising 1.9%, whilst European retail net revenue rose 11.3%.
On October 15 Ladbrokes and Gala agreed the sale of 359 shops for £55.5m to rivals Betfred and Stan James, in a deal that will reduce the merged operator’s footprint and pave the way for competition authorities to allow the merger to proceed.
Discussing the potential merger In a note for clients, Liberum recently stated: “Once the merger with Coral completes, we would view the largest retail bookmaker in the UK as very exposed to structural regulatory challenges.”
Hargreaves Landsdown analyst Nicholas Hyett is more positive about the operator’s outlook, particularly in light of the recent financial results, commenting that Ladbrokes is “scoring everywhere that William Hill is not, with robust growth online and success in Australia to boot.”
With the overall impact on the enlarged Ladbrokes-Coral likely to be in “mid-single digit millions” and shares in Ladbrokes up 2.2 per cent in early trading, the market remains positive on the operator’s long-term outlook.