Ladbrokes boss Richard Glynn under pressure after profits slump


Beleaguered Ladbrokes boss Richard Glynn insisted he had the backing of major investors today despite more profit pain as he races to revive the business in time for the World Cup.

The chief executive, under pressure after a succession of profit warnings, said he was “fully confident” that he would be in the job in 2017 when the bookmaker’s deal with Israeli software firm Playtech to improve its online business expires.

Refusing to comment on reports he had been given a six-month deadline to save his job, he said: “When I’ve spoken to shareholders they realise the shape of the business and where the growth is coming from. The vast majority of shareholders understand the path the business is on. I am fully confident I will be speaking to you at the end of the Playtech deal in 2017.”

Glynn’s comments came as the shares, down almost 20% this year, lost another 1%, or 2.25p, to 148.75p. Full-year operating profits were off a third to £138.3 million as profits from its UK retail arm, its largest division, sank 26% and digital profits collapsed 74%. Glynn promised to hold the dividend at 8.9p this year.

Ladbrokes said first-half profits would be below last year as it completes the rollout of new gaming machines across shops and makes the transition to Playtech software, which will give gambling and sports betting customers a single online wallet. The firm, along with rival bookmakers, has endured a nightmare start to the year as punters cleaned up on favourable football and horse racing results, which has cost it £11 million.

The World Cup, a huge draw to attract new punters, will involve increased marketing outlay as well as the looming point-of-consumption tax in December. This means bookies who moved online businesses to low-tax destinations will now pay tax on where bets are placed. This will knock £2 million off Ladbrokes’ digital profits this year. Punters pumped £11.7 billion into the bookie’s gaming machines last year, leaving £422 million. But these machines face the threat of regulation.

Peel Hunt analyst Nick Batram said: “Much is hanging on the new relationship with Playtech. UK retail has the uncertainty of machine regulation and a poor run of sports results.

“Whilst many will take the view  that things can’t possibly get worse, this underestimates the task  at hand.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific