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Ladbrokes were able to report good growth thanks to digital revenues

Ladbrokes report growth despite racing loss

RACING results may have turned against them but Ladbrokes were able to report revenue growth of 12.1 per cent for the third quarter of the year in a trading statement released on Tuesday.

The company, closing in on their £2.3 billion merger with Coral, increased revenue by 1.9 per cent in their UK retail division but revenue in digital were up 48.2 per cent.

Ladbrokes Australia net revenue was up 89.6 per cent.

Chief executive Jim Mullen said: "We've emerged from a busy summer of sport with more evidence that our strategy of appealing to the recreational customer is delivering growth and we remain confident of delivering full-year results in line with our expectations.

"Across all our key pillars we have been encouraged by the customer reaction. We have delivered growth for a fourth successive quarter in group net revenue, and in an eleventh in sportsbook staking and an eighth in gaming.

"In Australia, we've continued to enjoy tremendous success across all measures in the form of improved margin, strong staking and actives growth."

Loss on racing

Victories by the likes of Franklin D at Glorious Goodwood and Postponed at York in August meant the two festivals were "very painful, loss-making meetings".

Mullen said their margin had been resilient, adding: "This margin has been in spite of loss-making racing festivals at Goodwood and York; I said at our half-year results in August that sporting results would turn against us and in racing they promptly did.

"However, we did enjoy a strong end to the Euros and a stuttering start to the season for Manchester United and Barcelona has been in our favour.

"With the Melbourne Cup, an action-packed Boxing Day, the return of the national hunt season and an intense programme of top level football to come, there remain significant opportunities and risks ahead."

Ladbrokes announced on Sunday they and Coral had found buyers for all but one of the 360 betting shops they must sell to satisfy the Competition and Markets Authority before their merger can go through.

Mullen added: "These results have been achieved by a group of colleagues whose commitment to delivering Ladbrokes' Plan A has been all the more impressive given the ongoing work towards completion of our merger with Coral.

"Following our agreement to sell 359 shops subject to CMA approval, we are close to completion of the deal and look forward to the opportunities it will bring to customers, colleagues and shareholders."

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