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SBD Global/April 16, 2013/Finance

Digital Growth And Cold Weather Cause Bookmaker Ladbrokes' Revenue To Fall

A string of poor results at Cheltenham and punters wagering less overall "triggered a profit warning at Ladbrokes as the bookmaker's online travails look set to continue" throughout '13, according to Robinson & Wembridge of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The FTSE 250 company on Monday blamed a £5M ($7.6M) drop in gross winnings from its over-the-counter operations on 62 race cancellations -- "thanks largely to the cold weather" -- during the three months to March 31, compared with 36 cancellations in '12. At the Cheltenham meet alone, revenues fell £6M ($9M) year-on-year, "exacerbated by a run of results that left punters smiling and the bookies smarting." The profit warning heaped further pressure on the bookmaker, "which is struggling with the sector's shift online." Digital revenues fell 0.7% year-on-year, "in contrast to the strong digital growth of rivals such as William Hill" (FT, 4/15).
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