British bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral has posted its first full-year figures for 2016 as a merged company.
Last year’s $3.4bn merger saw the joint company’s operating profit rose 22% to £264.3m, helped by growth in its digital and European retail businesses, despite paying out heavily on a number of customer-friendly sporting results towards the back-end of the year.
Revenue rose 11% to £2.3bn, helped by a 24% increase in revenue at its European retail businesses, which comprises brands such as Eurobet Italy, Ladbrokes Belgium, Ireland and Spanish joint-venture Sportium.
Digital revenue, coming from channels such as Ladbrokes.com, Coral.co.uk, Galabingo.com and Galacasino.com, were up by a third to £666m.
Chief Executive Jim Mullen comments on the results: “This is a very successful start for the Ladbrokes Coral Group. Both Ladbrokes and Coral entered the merger in November with good momentum, and together delivered a strong full-year financial performance.
“Our plan is simple. We are focused on building on the leading multi-channel experience developed by both brands, utilising a rigorous approach to data-driven marketing and ensuring that our product delivers a leading customer experience.
“We will look to leverage our existing experience in international markets to drive further growth and use our significantly increased scale in technology to develop new products and deploy across the enlarged group. We will deliver this with a firm commitment to responsible gambling and health and safety.”
Shares in the merged company have rises approximately 15% in the past year, out-performing both William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair over that time period. Nonetheless, shares fell 3% in early morning trading after the results had been posted.
The integration of the two businesses is now expected to produce “higher cost synergies” of nearer £100m by 2019, upgraded from the initial guidance of £65m.