Ladbrokes boss Richard Glynn under pressure after profits slump
Tuesday 25 February 2014
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.”
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
- 2 Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Scottish independence referendum results: David Cameron pledges plans for 'English votes for English laws' by January
Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
iJobs Money & Business
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...