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Ladbrokes hails 'promising' start to 2013

High Street betting shop Ladbrokes registered record retail revenues in the UK last year, while the company said it has had 'promising' start to 2013.

High Street betting shop Ladbrokes registered record retail revenues in the UK last year, while the company said it has had 'promising' start to 2013.

"Favourable" sporting results in the final quarter underpinned record UK Retail net revenue of £739.5m in 2012, up 8.2% year-on-year.

Revenues in its Digital division, which comprises betting and gaming online and from mobiles, rose 9.0% to £178.1m.

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Total group revenue increased by 7.4% from £980m.3m to £1,053.3m last year.

Meanwhile, pre-tax profit surged by 49.1% from £134.6m to £200.7m, while underlying earnings per share rose 20.3% to 18.4p.

The full-year dividend was raised by 14.1% from 7.8p a share to 8.9p a share.

Net debt dropped by 14.8% over the period to £386.9m, while cash generated by operations rose 17.8% to £283.2m.

Outlook looks brightThe company said that 2013 has had a "promising start" with group net revenue (excluding High Rollers) up 7.2% in the first six weeks.

"We are continuing to transform Ladbrokes, with the resilience and reinvigoration of the UK Retail estate driving another year of growth in profit per shop. The development of the Digital business is progressing well and our investment in trading systems is generating improved quality of earnings," said Chief Executive Richard Glynn.

Digital revenues and earnings in 2013 are expected to be helped by the roll-out of the new sportsbook and mobile platforms in the first half, after delays during 2012.

Glynn said that Ladbrokes will continue to drive investment in 2013 by accelerating its shop openings programme and focusing on areas of unmet demand.

In spite of the solid outlook, shares were down 2.16% at 226p in early trading on Thursday, after an impressive 30% rise over the last six months.

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