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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Agreement reached on increase in Irish jockeys' fees

Andrew Coonan: "A certain degree of security"
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The Irish Jockeys Association has reached an agreement with Horse Racing Ireland and the Association of Irish Racehorse Owners for an incremental increase in riding fees up to the end of 2020.

The agreement will result in the current fees of €161.47 (Flat) and €184.59 (jumps) rising to €175 and €200 respectively by January 1 2020.

Andrew Coonan, executive secretary of the IJA, said: "I'm pleased we've finalised these negotiations and I'd like to thank the board of HRI and the board of AIRO, and in particular HRI's chief financial officer Susanne Eade, Claire Rudd of HRI, Aidan Burns of AIRO and Doyle Murtagh & Co accountants for their invaluable help.

"The increases are designed to keep pace with the ongoing costs that jockeys face. The fact that the increases are in effect spread over a three-year period allows riders a certain degree of security and avoids the necessity of negotiations on an annual basis."

Ladbrokes Coral profits at top end

Ladbrokes Coral's operating profits for 2017 were at the top end of management expectations, the bookmaker said in a trading update on Friday.

The update coincided with the prospectus for the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral by GVC Holdings, which is the subject of a Competition and Markets Authority inquiry, being made available to shareholders of the two companies.

Ladbrokes Coral said total group net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 was 12 per cent ahead of the previous year with strong sports gross win margins "driven by a 12-week run of favourable football results in the UK and Italy".

As a result UK over-the-counter net revenue increased by ten per cent, European retail net revenue was up 40 per cent and digital sportsbook net revenue rose by 50 per cent, although that dampened stakes growth as punters had less to reinvest.

Net revenue on fixed odds betting terminals fell by one per cent, while digital gaming net revenue dropped two per cent.

The company added: "Full-year group operating profit was at the top end of management expectations, driven by the strong growth in digital and European retail and the slightly higher level of merger synergies in 2017 than previously guided."

The company said 2018 trading "has started well and is in line with management expectations", and also announced a second interim dividend of 4p, "reflecting the strong end to the financial year".

Ladbrokes Coral's share price ended the day up 0.85p at 160.7p.

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The increases are designed to keep pace with the on-going costs that jockeys face
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