Ladbrokes to lay off staff in Republic due to losses
Hundreds of jobs are on the line at the Irish division of betting giant Ladbrokes after it suffered losses of €5m (£3.6m) last year.
The company has sought court protection to try to turn around its loss-making venture.
Ladbrokes said lay-offs are expected at all levels of its operation in the Republic where it has 840 employees and 196 betting shops.
However, Ladbrokes' business in Northern Ireland - incorporated as Northwest Bookmakers - is unaffected, making profits of £11.65m in the year ending December 2013.
But Ireland chief executive Jim Mullen said the Irish division was unsustainable in its current shape.
"The action taken by the directors of the Irish companies is to safeguard the Irish business which in its current state is not sustainable and cannot be supported by the Ladbrokes board without radical change, having lost its competitive edge," he said.
"This step has been taken in the best long-term interests of Ladbrokes Ireland, its employees, customers, partners and shareholders.
"In entering the process, our aim is to build a sustainable and competitive business based in Ireland, run from Ireland, investing in Ireland."