Ladbrokes' reliance on gaming machines to drive revenue growth at its High Street betting shops was again in evidence in the first quarter, while it seems to have had a better Cheltenham race festival than most of the punters who use its services.
Group net revenue in the first three months of 2012 was 8.9% higher than in the first quarter of 2011. Revenue at the UK shops was up 9.0% on a year earlier, driven by a 21,7% advance in revenue from gaming machines. Money taken over the counter in the traditional manner was up 0.5% from a year earlier.
Net revenue from online activities was up 5.9%, with the group enjoying a 22.4% boost to net revenue from its sports-book, with punters gaining the habit of placing bets from hand-held mobile devices.
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Group operating profit in the first quarter was up 3.9% year-on-year, and the company believes it is on track to meet expectations for 2012.
"UK Retail saw another quarter of strong growth in machines revenue. OTC staking remains resilient and gross win margin, helped by a better Cheltenham festival, was at the upper end of our historical range. We have invested considerably more in digital marketing and customer acquisition remains strong. We are starting to see this drive growth in the top line, particularly in the key focus area of UK sports-book which was up 22%. Our football Bet In Play offer is now leading the market with up to 800 matches per week." noted Richard Glynn, Chief Executive of Ladbrokes.
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