Ladbrokes hopes digital investment will pay off in 2013 after false start

Ladbrokes is hopeful its investment in its digital platform strategy will pay off later this year, as it prepares to launch its delayed online and mobile platforms.

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Ladbrokes is hopeful its investment in its digital strategy will pay off later this year, as it prepares to launch its delayed online and mobile platforms.

The betting company invested £50 million in digital platforms in 2011 and had intended to launch its new sportsbook online gambling platform last year, but was delayed due to technical problems.

Chief executive Richard Glynn said in the firm’s preliminary 2012 results that the launch of the revamped Hybris-powered website would help drive an increase in digital revenues later this year. 

“After a delay during 2012, we will complete the roll out of our new sportsbook and mobile platforms in Q1 and Q2 2013 respectively and look to improve our capability around customer relationship management," Glynn said.

“We expect these developments to drive growth in digital revenues and earnings, particularly during the second half of the year.”

Ladbrokes saw some success in its digital division, but faces stiff competition from the likes of William Hill, which has also invested heavily in online and mobile platforms.

Digital revenues grew 9 percent in total over the year reaching £178.1 million, with revenues through its sportsbook website up 26.1 percent to £77.8 million. 

Mobile revenues were up 93.6 percent, accounting for 23 percent of total sportsbook revenue, as more customers take to smartphones and tablets for placing bets.

Ladbrokes said that it expects revenues from its mobile platform to increase with the introduction of its new platform, with its API technology allowing it launch a number of new apps during 2013, integrating these into the main platform.

The company also highlighted extensions to its digital platforms, with plans to introduce algorithmic trading and pricing tools.

Last month Ladbrokes announced that it had acquired betting exchange platform Betdaq in a £26 million deal.   Ladbrokes said that between 20-30 percent of its customers already use betting exchanges, with the purchase of the Irish company further increasing its online presence.

The initial focus will be on developing the technology behind the exchange, which uses ‘state-of the-art’ proprietary software.

In its preliminary results Ladbrokes noted a 7. 4 percent increase in revenues compared to the previous year, rising to a total of £1.05 billion.  Profits were up 8 percent to £206.1 million over the same period.

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