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Ladbrokes H1 Profits Decline, Poker Hit Hard

Ladbrokes has undergone a number of major changes in its business and brand in recent times as it aims to remain one of the world’s primary gaming companies well into the future.

All along, the company has said that the changes would not have an immediate impact on its devolving fortunes, and the latest financial figures shows that it has been correct in that regard. In figures released by the company, Ladbrokes digital operating profit in the first half of 2013 declined by 28 per cent year on year.

Its poker offering was one of the worst performers of its digital operations, with the company’s poker revenues falling by 25 per cent in the same period. Ladbrokes attributed the major fall to a growth in online poker competition throughout the year. The company did also say, however, that it expected online poker revenue and profits to go back up after its move to the iPoker network.

Ladbrokes’ partnership with Playtech, which owns iPoker, is one of a number of major business changes made by the company as it seeks to retain its relevance in the gaming industry. In April, the company announced that it had hired Jim Mullen, who is currently the Chief Operating Officer of one of its main competitors, William Hill, to be Director of the Digital division of Ladbrokes, which includes Ladbrokes Poker.

Ladbrokes Israel was also launched by the company in the city of Tel Aviv in the same month following the Playtech agreement. Ladbrokes Israel contains the company’s digital division and has become a huge focus of the company as it seeks to boost its presence in the global online gaming market.

The restructure of Ladbrokes would likely slow the decline in online poker revenue numbers in the future. The possibility that it could even turn those numbers around is also not out of the question, but that it far less likely given the sheer scale of the decline.

Despite that, Ladbrokes has investied significant money and resources in boosting its online brand and has made a number of smart moves to go along with it. Those moves and investments should almost certainly its declining profit will not be a regular occurrence.

The company’s other gaming areas yielded mixed results. Its online casino and bingo services also declined in the first half of the year by 6.8 and 15.5 per cent respectively, while its sportsbook offering increased.

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