Bookmaker Ladbrokes has announced plans to expand its investment in mobile and technology as it revealed an increase in revenue in these areas helped drive a 20.1 percent increase in group profit.
In its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2010, the mobile channel of the company’s digital division delivered a substantial year-on-year revenue growth of 78.4 percent to £5.7 million.
Ladbrokes chief executive Richard Glynn, said: “Our innovative range of new apps for mobile devices has helped drive a five-fold increase in the proportion of digital customers accessing the mobile service, currently 15 percent.”
“We see mobile as a strong growth opportunity, and therefore an area for further investment going forward,” the company also stated in its financial report.
Glynn said that Ladbrokes expects to invest an additional £50 million of capital expenditure, in 2011 and 2012, to improve its technology platforms.
In 2010, Ladbrokes recorded group revenue of £976.6 million, up 1.3 percent on 2009 results, and pre-tax profits of £202.3 million, up 20.1 percent from £168.5 million in 2009.
The company’s digital division contributed to this with a 5.4 percent increase in net revenue to £169.4 million, and a 36 percent increase in operating profit to £62.7 million.
“This increase and a 4.2 percent growth in active customers as well as a 4.5 percent growth in new sign-ups, reflects the benefits of investments made in our online mobile products and the development of our online marketing capabilities,” the company said.
As well as creating new smartphone apps, another of the company’s technology developments last year was to extend its Bet In Play offering, which enables punters to bet during a match or race.
Meanwhile, this year, Ladbrokes plans to continue with an 18-month project that involves implementing a new e-commerce platform. The company said the system will deliver features including improved site search functionalities, a single customer ‘wallet’ for all its products and its own front-end platform.
To lead Ladbrokes’ digital strategy, the company appointed Gary McIlraith as director of digital, international development and strategy in August.
“A clear strategy to become an e-enabled, international betting and gaming business has been developed. This includes a particular focus on improving our technology capabilities across all distribution channels,” the company said.
Last year, Ladbrokes deployed a workforce management system from Alcatel-Lucent to help cut costs and manage schedules.